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LCO College students learn to process wild rice

From the Lac Courte Oreilles Ojibwe Community College

Introduction to Ojibwe Culture students processed wild rice earlier this semester.

Students parched (gidasigewag) rice on an open fire using old fashioned wash tubs and a wooden paddle while the other male students and a young girl danced (mimiikooshkamoog) it in an wooden barrel. This is done to loosen the chaff off the long grain wild rice.

After the rice was danced, the students winnowed/fanned (nooshkaachigewag) the rice in birchbark baskets to reveal the gift of their harvest.

The Introduction to Ojibwe Culture students honored the traditions of our Ojibwe ancestors through their hard work and for some, a newly acquired skill. A feast (wiikoongewag) was held to give thanks for this sacred food that grows on water-Manoomin.

The remaining wild rice from their harvest was gifted to the Lac Courte Oreilles Elderly Nutrition Center in Reserve, WI which will be shared with our elders who have held us up and carried these traditions for generations.


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