Sokaogon Chippewa Community News

The Food That Grows On Water

By Interlochen Public Radio – Producer: Patrick Shea, Sierra Clark, Editor / Host: Dan Wanschura, Music: Kai Engel, Podington Bear and Ketsa.


According to an Anishinaabe prophecy, manoomin – wild rice – is what brought the Ojibwe, Odawa and Potawatomi peoples to the Great Lakes. Since time immemorial, it’s been a staple food and a part of cultural identity.

The annual grass produces a nutritious seed, which ripens in the fall. It was once abundant in most lakes, streams and rivers throughout the region. But starting in the late 1800s, manoomin’s decline was fast and widespread.

Just like the plant itself, a lot of knowledge around harvesting practices has been lost as well. In this story, hear from the Anishinaabek fighting to save “the food that grows on the water.”