Tag Archives: Black Duck Wild Rice

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Inspiring Reconcili-action through Dialogue

“Genocide is complicated.” So begins Black Duck Wild Rice: The Resurgence of Indigenous Food Sovereignty within the Kawartha Lakes Region. This hard-hitting video lays out the challenges and possibilities of a manoomin revival as described by Black Duck Wild Rice founder James Whetung.

Black Duck Wild Rice, located in Curve Lake First Nation is a social enterprise involved with seeding, harvesting, processing and educating about manoomin or wild rice—a traditional food of the Nishnaabe people. Black Duck Wild Rice is enacting their Indigenous rights and is working to restore Indigenous food sovereignty for their community and within their traditional territory. These steps are taken as an antidote to the impacts of settler colonialism that the Mississauga Anishinaabeg have and continue to face daily in cottage country across the Kawartha Lakes Region, the Trent Severn waterway, and particularly in contested spaces such as Pigeon Lake. The resurgence of manoomin is an important step in the process of the reconciliation—and reconcili-action!

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Black Duck Wild Rice—Powerful New Case Study

“…the answer needs to be more active. Reconciliation needs to be a process. Nishnaabe people have shared, to the point that they are doing without the basic necessities, such as healthy traditional foods and the means to access them within their own traditional territories. So there has to be a re-sharing, sharing right from the top to the bottom. This is the process of reconciliation.

In the latest case study in the Social and Informal Economies of Food series, Paula Anderson and James Whetung explore the transformation of Black Duck Wild Rice from a small, private, for-profit business to a multi-faceted, community-integrated social enterprise sharing seed, knowledge and an element of control through community seeding, harvesting and processing of natural food resources.

Manoomin means the good seed or sacred seed in Anishinaabemowin (Ojibway language). The Anishinaabeg have maintained a relationship with manoomin, caring for it, harvesting it, eating it, trading it, honoring it for generations upon generations. It is considered one of the central lifeways of the Anishinaabeg and in essence has defined who they are for millennia. Their intimate reciprocal relationship with this plant is affirmed in their ceremonies, songs and stories and integrated into their practices.

The case study takes you through the historical, geographic and social context of BDWR, and lays out all of the resources that have contributed to the development of this labour of love. Available to read online or download as a pdf

 

The Story of Black Duck Wild Rice Brought to the Stage

A new play offers a comedic interpretation of the melodrama and conflict surrounding the story of Black Duck Wild Rice. The full case study of Black Duck Wild Rice will be posted on this website soon, part of the Subversions from the Informal and Social Economy series.
Day 6 interviewed Drew Hayden Taylor about Cottagers and Indians, calling it “a timely play about Indigenous and non-Indigenous relationships”. You can listen to the full interview hereCottagers and Indians debuts February 21 and plays at the Tarragon Theatre in Toronto until March 25.

Subversions from the Informal and Social Economy of Food – Eastern Ontario Webinar

Relocating social and ecological values in food systems

Wednesday March 1 at 10:00 a.m. – 11:30 a.m.

Join us for reports from four unique community-based research cases in eastern Ontario, where the most prized goals challenge the accepted wisdom of economic primacy.

1) DIG (Durham Integrated Growers for a Sustainable Community)
Mary Drummond, President of DIG and Chair, Durham Food Policy Council and Mary Anne Martin, PhD student in the Joint Trent-Carleton program in Canadian Studies

Key DIG case study themes:

  • the recognition of community expertise
  • the role of supportive and restrictive municipal policies
  • the benefits and pitfalls of relying on unpaid labour,
  • a focus on fostering community
  • the development of alternatives to dominant economic logics and practices

2) Black Duck Wild Rice (BDWR)
James Whetung, Curve Lake First Nation, Founder of BDWR, and Paula Anderson, PhD student in Indigenous Studies, Trent University

Black Duck Wild Rice (BDWR) is a family run community-based social enterprise for wild rice processing, including a maple wood roasting machine, a barrel wild rice huller and a drop winnower. James and family have been long-time advocates for wild rice and its place in developing a more local/regional diet; one that is based off of what this “place” has to offer.  BDWR provides “green” seed for other First Nation communities wishing to re-establish/ restore their traditional manoomin beds within their traditional territorial waterways and has recently acquired a set of canoes that local people can borrow to encourage them to go out and re-establish their relationship with this food.

3) Hidden Harvest
Jay Garlough (Co-founder, Hidden Harvest), Trish Ballamingie (Associate Professor, Geography and Environmental Studies, Carleton University), and Chloé Poitevin DesRivières (Doctoral Candidate, Geography/Political Economy, Carleton University)

In this webinar, Jay will introduce Hidden Harvest Ottawa – a for-profit social enterprise that aims to legitimize and support the practice of harvesting fruits and nuts in urban areas. Groups of volunteers participate in insured harvest events, organized by trained neighbourhood leaders. The bounty is split between the nearest food agency, the homeowner, the volunteer harvesters, and Hidden Harvest Ottawa—who leverage their share to raise funds for the initiative from local restaurants and processors. Chloe will then touch briefly on key Insight themes (Building Adaptive Capacity; Increasing Prosperity; Increasing Social Capital; and Fostering Innovation and Entrepreneurship). Trish will conclude by reflecting on the broader conceptual significance of this case study.

4) Ontario East Alternative Land Use Services (ALUS)
Phil Mount, Research Associate, Laurier Centre for Sustainable Food Systems

In recent years, higher input costs, lower margins, and an increase in cash cropping have all encouraged the conversion of idle agricultural land, pasture, and native grassland, into corn production—with important repercussions for wildlife habitat in Ontario. Alternative Land Use Services (ALUS) is a non-profit program offering an innovative model for environmental conservation, by providing farmers with financial incentives for the ecological goods and services produced on their land.

Key ON East ALUS case study points:

  • ALUS pays farmers to retire land from agricultural production, and retain or convert it to a natural state
  • widespread benefits include carbon sequestration, improvements in water quality, and increased habitat for fish, wildlife, and pollinators
  • the program is voluntary, farmer-delivered, and community developed

Facilitator: Peter Andree, Associate Professor and Associate Chair, Department of Political Science, Carleton University

For registration and webinar access info, please contact pmount@wlu.ca

For more details on the project and webinars