Help Protect Wild Rice

Help Protect Wild Rice

Real wild rice is at risk of disappearing.   

Manoomin, the “good grain” in Anishinaabeg, the only grain native to Northern America, the richly delicious and nutritious aquatic seed that is a keystone traditional food of Anishinaabeg (Chippewa) people has yet another threat to its existence. Unique to the Upper Great Lakes’ region, Manoomin, which is on Slow Food USA’s Ark of Taste (and one of only seven US Presidia) for its amazing depth and diversity of flavors and its rich cultural heritage, is respected around the world as a true American food.

But can we protect it here in Wisconsin?

A proposed mining bill in the state legislature would roll back regulatory and environmental protections; paving the way for large scale open pit mining in the pristine Penokee Hills of Northern Wisconsin. A proposed iron mine would impact the Bad River watershed–home to the Bad River Tribe of Wisconsin and the extraordinarily sensitive ecosystem that supports wild rice beds, rare flora and fauna, and is the primary source of fresh drinking water for that region.

Concerned?  Slow Food WiSE members and friends can support the tribe in the following ways:

  • Contact your legislators (the Wisconsin League of Conservation Voters makes it easy here)
  • Read this press release from Bad River Tribal Chairman, Mike Wiggins
  • Help spread the word
  • Write a letter to the editor
  • Attend a hearing in Madison this Wednesday, January 23rd from 9am-9pm in Room 411 South, State Capitol. If you can’t make it email both Senator Tom Tiffany Sen.Tiffany@legis.wi.gov  and Representative Mary Williams Rep.WilliamsM@legis.wisconsin.gov to let them know your thoughts.

Our community can help preserve wild rice, the good grain.

Jennifer Casey
This post was written by
Jennifer Casey Corbett is a registered dietitian and professional cook. In her work as the Gerald L Ignace Indian Health Center’s Diabetes Program Coordinator, she works with Milwaukee’s urban American Indian community on health promotion and disease prevention initiatives. She is a local and national advocate for biodiversity, cultural and regional foodways, and sustainable eating. With Slow Food WiSE and partners, she leads the Milwaukee Apple Project—a project dedicated to saving rare, heritage apple varietals unique to Wisconsin.

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