American Indian Solutions to Environmental Challenges

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Our Homeland

The traditional homelands of the Ojibwe are heavily wooded with deciduous and coniferous trees. Fresh water lakes and rivers are abundant, as are game, berries and other wild plants. But winters can be bitterly cold and long, so the Ojibwe had to learn how to live with the cycles of nature.

Key Terms

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    A forest largely populated with cone-bearing evergreen trees.

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    A forest largely populated with trees that lose their leaves each year.

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    The place where a population (e.g. human, animal, plant, microorganism) lives and its surroundings, both living and non-living.

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    A method of slow roasting wild rice that preserves it for storage and makes it edible. Because parching destroys the inner kernel of the rice seed and prevents it from sprouting, parched rice can be kept indefinitely.

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    Agitating wild rice to separate the chaff, or hull, from the grain.

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Explore: Finishing the Rice

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Try These Questions

True or false? Each year, a group of Ojibwe elders announces the date the rice beds will be open for harvest.
Examine this photo of a wild rice bed. Why do the Ojibwe believe rice should be picked by hand (and not machines), from canoes (not motorboats)?
Wild rice
True or false? After wild rice is harvested, it is immediately cooked or stored.
Harvesting rice

Take Notes for Story Project

What is the local environment like? (land, water, climate, plants, animals)

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Name some ways the environment supports the tribe’s cultural traditions and economy.

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