Even though we live in northern Minnesota and see the seasons come and go taking time to observe our environment and the seasonal changes brought on in the fall time was good for us. Students spent time touring as many of the lakes as possible that manoomin has cored over the last few years. We visited Bang Lake, Third Lake, Dead Fish and Perch Lake.
Dressed in blaze orange students completed their drawing, photographs, sun prints and journaling. Students worked in small groups to present the different perspectives and ideas talked about through camp. At Dead Fish Lake a lot of discussion about what a rice camp included. Former gida student Jeremy Amermoski and teacher Lowana Greensky shared personal stories of the organization of the camp and the work completed together. Depending on the year elders would determine together the best way to gather and process the rice so everyone had what they needed.
Students learned more about the construction of the ditch banks on Fond du Lac by the US government. The intent of the government was to create farm land. The result of the ditch banks cutting through the land has disturbed the management and growth of wild rice to this day. Current Natural Resources Management is carefully done trying to work with dams and clearing moose ears off the lakes. Nikki Crowe from 13 Moons helped students create gifts of the sacred plats for elders. A considerable amount of time was given to collecting plants, stripping bark and gathering the pulp for knick-knick.
Students spent time determining their 2013 Science Fair projects. Initial study and research were done in the computer lab.
The evening brought time to talk around the fire carving walking sticks. Seems that being outside around the fire brings us together. Early on during camp a talking circle led by Holly was held to talk through the violence in our communities. as the feather was passes from person to person to share. It was good for us to be together whether we spoke or not. It seems that we are each others second family.
Having been apart since Summer we were happy to have time together.