Maple sugar used to be packaged in 65lb mukuks, or birchbark baskets by the Ojibwe Anishinabeg of the Great Lakes. 65lbs of maple = about 8.1 gallons of syrup. You can learn a lot more about historic and contemporary sapping, making maple syrup or sugar and the kinds of trees you can tap at this years Great Lakes Food Summit coming up April 19-23rd, 2017 in Hopkins, Michigan.
One of the featured workshops of the Intertribal Food Summits that have been held in the Great Lakes region is the Foraging for Food workshops. At the up and coming Red Lake Intertribal Food Summit during September 16 & 17th it is called “Harvesting from the Forest” and will be led by Tashia Hart of Red Lake, who works with the Sioux Chef, Sean Sherman. Several other participants will be assisting in identifying and harvesting for the feasts, plants and medicines that are commonly used by Indigenous people for health and nutrition.
The Jijak Foundation, Red Lake Ojibwe, Oneida Nation and the Intertribal Agriculture Council (IAC) have focused their Great Lakes regional conferences on food sovereignty, Native harvesting, and Indigenous culinary development.
Collecting and Evaporating Maple sap at Jijak Food Summit 2016
Paul DeMain and the Intertribal Agriculture Council take you on a short walk along part of Camp Jijak’s Maple sapping lines and then over to the Jijak Foundation’s Sugar Shack built at the camp for use by members of the Gun Lake Pottawatomi Tribe. Kevin Finney, the Executive Director of the Jijak Foundation explains some of the things to consider when using an evaporator for making syrup during the spring 2016 Great Lakes Intertribal Food Summit near Hopkins, Michigan.
Jijak Food Summit: Maple & Sapping 2016
Kevin Finney the Director of the Gun Lake Pottawatomi’s Jijak Foundation and camp describes to visitors the beginning of a renewal in local tribal interest in tapping for Maple and other species for sugar, syrup, food and medicinal products. The Jijak Foundation and the Intertribal Agriculture Council (IAC) have focused several Great Lakes regional conferences on food sovereignty, Native harvesting, and Indigenous culinary development.
The 2016 Great Lakes Intertribal Food Summit held at Gun Lake Pottawatomi’s Jijak Camp from April 21-24 was a tremendous success due to an amazing turnout of individuals and groups willing to share their unique skills and knowledge.
Search #foodsummit and #jijak at Facebook and Twitter for event pictures and posts and go to the link provided here for a beautiful layout of photos and narratives from the event: