The Ojibwa and wild rice

Smithsonian Magazine has a short article, photos and a video online about a Native American tribe called the Ojibwa, who live in northern Minnesota, and their close connection with wild rice, “manoomin,” or Zizania aquatica.1 We talked about this before. Ricing is central to the Ojibwa’s founding story, and also a welcome source of income (unemployment is at 50%):

The White Earth Land Recovery Project, run by political activist and tribe member Winona LaDuke, was started 18 years ago to preserve the harvest and boost the tribe’s share of the proceeds. It operates a mill on the reservation and markets Native Harvest wild rice to specialty stores around the country (and through Ojibwa wild rice is one of only five U.S. products supported by the Slow Food Foundation for Biodiversity, an international organization based in Italy that aims to preserve traditional or artisan foods.

  1. Thanks to the Food Museum for pointing to the story. []

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