wild rice

Cultural Significance of Wild Rice
2:32 pm
Thu September 11, 2014

Wild Rice Festival Celebrates Harvest

Wild rice harvesting in Minnesota - 1915.
Credit Department of the Interior, Bureau of Indian Affairs

Lac du Flambeau is holding a festival celebrating wild rice…and the historic Indian Bowl.

The Wild Rice Festival is held every year during the rice harvesting season, which usually spans late August to early September. 

As Lac du Flambeau spokesperson Brandon Thoms explains, wild rice has been an important part of Ojibwe culture since the tribes first migrated to the area.  A prophecy had foretold that the people should settle in a place where the food grows on the water.

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Harvesting a Traditional Food
4:52 pm
Thu August 28, 2014

Wild Rice Season Behind Schedule

Oneida County lake as seen from above, partially covered with bright green wild rice beds.
Credit Natalie Jablonski / WXPR News

Wisconsin’s wild rice season is getting a late start, thanks to this year’s long winter and cool summer. 

Though Labor Day weekend often marks a key time for harvesting the traditional Ojibwe food staple, this year hardly any rice is mature and ready for picking.  That’s according to Wildlife Biologist Peter David with the Great Lakes Indian Fish and Wildlife Commission.

“I have heard very few reports of rice being ready at this point, there probably are a couple of odd riverbeds.  But by and large, things are not ready to go.”

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A Finnicky Plant
6:08 pm
Mon September 9, 2013

Sparse Season For Lac du Flambeau Wild Rice

Wild rice production may have already peaked in the Lac du Flambeau area.
Credit Superior National Forest

Wild rice production looks below average in the Lac du Flambeau reservation area.  

Scott Smith and the other two wild rice chiefs for the Lac du Flambeau reservation check lakes daily to monitor the rice as it ripens.  Smith says the peak of the harvest has probably already passed. 

“Usually 5 to 10 percent ripens per day.  So there are a few lakes left that still have rice – where it’s more dense, they still have rice to harvest.”

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Nearing Harvest Time
4:22 pm
Wed August 28, 2013

Wild Rice Season Set to Open

Wild rice grows at the mouth of the Kakagon River near Lake Superior.
Credit Natalie Jablonski / WXPR News

Wild rice season is set to begin in Northern Wisconsin.  Manoomin, the traditional food of the Ojibwe nations, typically ripens around Labor Day.  But harvesters may need extra patience this year.

Only three out of about 50 lakes regulated by state and tribal officials will open for ricing by this weekend. Manoomin biologist for the Great Lakes Indian Fish and Wildlife Commission Lisa David says Wisconsin’s late spring delayed ripening in some areas.

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