Honor the Earth invites public to wild rice camp in Aitkin County
Honor the Earth is collaborating with artists and cultural organizer Rory Wakemup from the Bois Forte Band. Participants will learn how to replant manoomin.
AITKIN COUNTY — In Ojibwe culture, manoomin is sacred. Manoomin is wild rice, the food that grows on water.
"I'm trying to teach my children to remain resilient and teach others, too."Leanna Goose
Honor the Earth is hosting a public wild rice camp in Aitkin County Sept. 8-10. Featured speakers and collaborators are Rory Wakemup and Leanna Goose.
Wakemup is an artist and cultural organizer from Bois Forte Band. He is a multidisciplinary artist whose work is said to turn the script of cultural appropriation on its head.
Goose is an organizer with Honor the Earth and will be leading an activity around re-planting manoomin. As a mom, Goose is trying to combat aquatic invasive species with reseeding wild rice with a method she describes as mud balls.
"We also want to give people a chance to be together on the land so that they can understand what Indigenous people and what water protectors are doing, and why it’s so important to protect those places.”Shanai Matteson
She said in a recent KAXE Morning Show conversation: “I know the world is changing a lot and manoomin is under threat from climate change, invasive species and now mining. So I'm trying to teach my children to remain resilient and teach others, too. We had the neighborhood kids out there planting wild rice with us last year and it was a really good experience.”
Another part of the cultural event will be what organizers described as "impromptu tours" to nearby sites, including the Talon Metals mine site and the Enbridge pipeline corridor, pointing out nearby lakes, rivers and wetlands.
Shanai Matteson, cultural and campaign organizer for Honor the Earth, said, “It's about the experience and being together.”
“Manoomin and clean water are under threat from climate change, from industries like mining, oil pipelines, and so we also want to give people a chance to be together on the land so that they can understand what Indigenous people and what water protectors are doing, and why it’s so important to protect those places,” she said.
Find more information on how to register for the camp here.
Listen to our conversation with Goose and Matteson above.
Wild rice season is now open, and the DNR reminds harvesters that rice stands must be ripe before they can be legally harvested. The wild rice season lasts until Sept. 30. Check with the MN DNR for regulations. Licenses are required.