Anishinaabe and Ma'iingan (Original Man and Wolf) The OjibweCreation Story This story is based on the one
Anishinaabe and Ma'iingan (Original Man and Wolf) The OjibweCreation Story This story is based on the one told by EdwardBenton-Banai in his book The Mishomis Book: The Voice of the Ojibwa(Indian Country Press, 1979, St. Paul, Minnesota) When Mother Earthwas young, she had a family and was very beautiful. She is calledMother because from her come all living things. The water is herblood. On her surface, there are four sacred directions -- north,south, east, and west. Gichi Manito, the Creator, took four partsof Mother Earth -- earth, wind, fire, and water -- and blew intothem using the Megis or Sacred Shell, making a man. The GreatSpirit then lowered man to Mother Earth, as part of her, to live inbrotherhood with all that surrounded him. This man, in accordancewith the Creator's instructions, walked Mother Earth and named allthe animals, plants, and land features. Even though man is not yetnamed, later, people will call him Anishinabe. Man did not onlyname all the creatures, he also named all the bodies of water andall the parts of the body. While man was doing this, he noticedthat the earth cycled through four seasons. The spring is whenplants came back to live. Plants bore fruit in the summer. Theleaves turned fantastical colors in the fall. Purifying snows fellin the winter. As man traveled he discovered that plants were goodto eat and could be used as medicine, dyes, flavorings and threads.As he traveled he also discovered each animal had its own type ofwisdom. He noticed all the animals came in twos, yet he was allalone! So Gichi Manito listened, and sent someone down, the wolf,to be a companion to Anishinaabe as he traveled around, with wolfkeeping him company, naming and learning about all the plants andanimals. Gichi Manito told Anishinaabe and wolf that they would belike brothers, to visit all the places on the earth... which thetwo of them did, and through their long travels they did becomeclose like brothers and also realized that they were like brothersas well to all the other plants and animals and depended on them.When they finally finished their task of visiting all the places,they talked to Gichi Manito again and Gichi Manito told them boththat from that day on they must go their separate ways, but thatwhatever would happen to one would also happen to the other. SoAnishinaabe and Ma'iingan (wolf) obeyed and set off in theirdifferent directions.
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o help us explore cultural diversity, there is a separate Ojibwecreation story on Canvas and a case study (below) which wasdeveloped to summarize two different perspectives on wild riceresearch. Wild rice is a grain that has both high nutritional valueand a unique taste. It is also a sacred component of several NativeAmerican cultures. If interested, Wikipedia has a backgroundarticle on wild rice (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Wild_rice). Onthe due date, Doug McArthur, a wildlife biologist on the WhiteEarth Reservation in northwest Minnesota, will be a guest lecturerin our class, discussing biodiversity management at White Earth. Asa part of his lecture, he will talk about the Ojibwe creation storyand lead a discussion about the perspectives on wild rice. Prior tocoming to class on the due date, a) read the Ojibwe creation storyon Canvas and b) read each case study below and then brieflysummarize the key points from each case study perspective. Yourtyped summary of the case study may be no longer than 1 page with1-inch margins, 12-point font and 1.5 line spacing. Be concise.Bring your one-page typed summary to class on the due date. Note:There is nothing to summarize in written form for this assignmentfrom the Ojibwe creation story. Simply read the story and beprepared to discuss it in class. Continue reading below on Pages 2and 3 for the case study perspectives. Your name here Wild RiceAssignment ESPM 1011 Wild Rice Scientist – “Research One”University You are a scientist at a premier, publicly fundedresearch university working in the field of plant genetics. Youhave had an impressive career at your university and are a memberof the National Academy of Sciences. This distinction is onlyawarded to the best, most innovative of scientists. You have alwayspursued your interests with little controversy. For the pastseveral years your lab has occasionally researched the possibilityof utilizing the genome of wild rice (zizania palustris) totransfer traits (possibly through transgenomic processes) to andfrom white rice and other grasses in an effort to improve whiterice and possibly improve the characteristics of wild rice for afew families of European heritage who are cultivating wild rice inpatties as a cash crop—similar to the way in which white rice isnow planted and harvested. Your work has more seriously engagedwild rice in the past three years. From your perspective, thematerial world is there to benefit human interests, and yourcommitment is to use plants simply as a means to improve the humancondition. Over the years, in the context of your work with wildrice, you have learned that a tribe in the region (Anishinaabe,Ojibwa) views wild rice as a sacred plant central to their cultureand spirituality, and they are deeply concerned about your plans topotentially modify the genome--or pursue transgenomic work on theplant. In fact, they are opposed to genetic alterations of wildrice. You are confident that the privilege of academic freedom,extended to faculty with tenure at major universities, allows youthe right to conduct whatever research you feel an inclination topursue. You have not seriously concerned yourself with the issuesthe tribe has raised—after all, groups complain all the time aboutsomething. Isn’t this the same as embryonic stem cell research andthat also generates controversy? Still, research must go forward.As you see it, scientists have an obligation to pursue newknowledge and the potential benefits of this research for globalfood security outweigh the concerns of one special interest group.Moreover, this could continue to solidify your status as aprominent research scientist with your peers. The tribe recentlysent you and the President of the University a notice informing youthat you are potentially engaging in an extremely harmful activityby altering wild rice. While you have already mapped the genome ofwild rice, in preparation for other research regarding the plantand its genome, you haven’t yet genetically modified wild rice.Most recently, the tribe has demanded that you desist in allgenetic research related to wild rice. They note that wild rice wasimportant enough to their forefathers that a clause protecting wildrice was written into the treaties (still in effect) endinghostilities between the tribe and the United States in the 1850s.For now, you have no inclination to acquiesce to the request of thetribe. You believe that you have the right to conduct your researchand believe that the tribe doesn’t understand your work and itspotential impact to create a better version of white rice, andpossibly a better version of wild rice that ripens all at once, hasa stronger stalk, and thus can be more easily and efficientlyharvested by machine. The “white European” wild rice growerssupport your continued research with funding and politicalinfluence. Wild Rice Case – Tribal Community Leader You are atribal leader for a large tribe (Anishinaabe, Ojibwa) withreservation land holdings that encompass the needed culturalresources (medicine plants and other critical cultural resources)for your people. It is your responsibility to ensure that thewelfare of your community is maintained and improved. Your tribehas survived the cultural trauma of a genocidal colonizationperiod, but you continue to suffer the impacts of ongoing attemptsto force your community to assimilate and lose its culturalidentity. The stories of your grandparents tell of the boardingschool days when they were taken from their homes and forced intoreligiously run boarding schools. At these schools, native peoplewere frequently physically abused (often sexually abused as well)and were not allowed to speak their native language or practicefamiliar cultural traditions—drum and dance. Your community stillsuffers from neglect and poverty. One of the only sources of reliefis the continuing strength of your cultural traditions. Your tribehas been in the current area for over six thousand years, and a tenthousand year oral tradition documents the prophecy of your eldersleading you to this very place. Here you are in your promisedland--the place where you were meant to be. At the center of yourculture story is wild rice (manoomin--the “good berry” that growson the water). Manoomin is present in all your ceremonies (birth,naming, death and all other major events). The Great Spirit came toyour people long ago and gifted them a sacred relationship withwild rice. Your prophecy stories, held in the oral tradition,identify your people as the “Western Gatekeepers” whose task willbe to protect manoomin and maintain the traditions. While animportant food source, wild rice is a spiritual partner in the lifeof your tribe. It was important enough that, at the time of signingtreaties with the US government (to halt armed conflict), yourpeople wrote special consideration for manoomin into the treaty.For you and your communities, wild rice is a being with a spirit(as are all living things), and manoomin is part of theinterconnected whole of life on mother earth—active, alive andintelligent. If the native stands of wild rice are compromised inthe lakes of your reservation and your traditional lands, or thespirit of wild rice injured, you will have failed in upholding theresponsibility of your tribe in the prophesy of your people, andthe cultural/spiritual heart of the tribe will cease to beat. Youare the last barrier to the full exploitation and possibledestruction of wild manoomin. As a people where community andrelationship with all things is critical, this would be the finalact in a long a process of colonization resulting in culturaldestruction. You have learned that the local, public researchuniversity has mapped the genome of wild rice with the potentialend in mind of altering its genome to make it “better.” In order toincorporate traits they have identified as needed to make wild ricea better crop, scientists at the university have considered thepossibility of combining the wild rice genome with genetic materialfrom other species. This could irrevocably contaminate the wildrice stands your people have been tasked to protect. To preventthis, you sent the university a letter signed by the leadership ofyour tribe requesting that they stop all genomic work on wild rice.You explain that wild rice is sacred to your people and has aspirit, but the response has been that “faculty have academicfreedom” to pursue whatever research they deem valuable.