NHBP Tribal officials on Nottawa Creek with Governor Snyder, Rep. Aaron Miller, and Farm Bureau President Carl Bednarski.
Published September 26, 2018
FULTON, Mich. — The Nottawaseppi Huron Band of the Potawatomi (NHBP) hosted Michigan Governor Rick Snyder Monday, September 24 for a wild rice experience.
Gov. Snyder joined the NHBP Tribal Council and others from the tribe to experience the wild rice collection process on the Nottawa Creek and take part in a demonstration of the wild rice production process.
Governor Synder uses a ricing paddle to parch Wild Rice Huron Potawatomi tribal citizen Kevin Harris II looks on.
“The Huron Potawatomi Tribe has positively impacted our economy and environment for generations and I’m proud of the work they are now doing to restore the Wild Rice crop in Michigan,” said Gov. Rick Snyder. “The Wild Rice program the tribe has underway is benefitting Michiganders all across the state. I was honored to be able to see the farm firsthand and learn more about the history of the tribe and the importance of this crop.”
Traditionally, the Potawatomi people and wild rice have been intertwined. Wild rice has served as a staple food source since the Potawatomi people first migrated to the Great Lakes area. For NHBP, wild rice has not only served as a traditional food source, but also as a key piece of the tribe’s culture and identity.
Governor Snyder, Tribal Council Chairperson Jamie Stuck, Tribal Council Treasurer Dr. Jeff Chivis, Tribal Council Secretary Nancy Smit, Tribal Council Sergeant-at-Arms Homer A. Mandoka, Rep. Aaron Miller, Farm Bureau President Carl Bednarski
Over time, due to a combination of habitat destruction and invasive species, the once-vast areas of wild rice were reduced to isolated beds. This prompted Michigan to designate wild rice as a threatened species in the state.
“We are extremely pleased to have Governor Snyder join us and experience a part of NHBP’s culture,” said NHBP Tribal Council Chairperson Jamie Stuck. “NHBP is committed to revitalizing our culture and traditions, and restoring Wild Rice habitats in southwest Michigan is an important step forward in that process.”
NHBP, like many other tribes in Michigan and throughout the Midwest, has taken steps to conserve and protect wild rice. The tribe’s wild rice program focuses on monitoring current wild rice beds and controlling invasive species, as well as harvesting wild rice seeds and determining suitable areas for the reintroduction of the native species.
Also in attendance for the Wild Rice experience were Rep. Aaron Miller, and Michigan Farm Bureau President Carl Bednarski.