Saturday, November 3, 2018, 2 p.m.
Ennismore Arena
Come meet with your neighbours and other property owners who are concerned about the invasion of planted rice in the lakes.

Agenda Items Include:

History of the lakes and the rice
Concerns including but not limited to:

Safety on waterways
Environmental impacts
Decrease in shoreline property values and how it will affect the community’s tax base
Managing the rice and its debris
Inability to enjoy the waterfront

Possible guest speakers
Mayors-Elect, representatives from the Trent Severn Waterway, and MPs office have been invited.

Confirmation of attendance will be posted on

Actions taken to date
What’s next
We would like your input on possible options moving forward

This meeting is being held by a group of volunteers in your community.

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6 thoughts on “NOTICE OF COMMUNITY MEETING – SAVE THE TRI-LAKES (Pigeon, Buckhorn, Chemong)

  1. To be honest, one must ask why the homeowner would not have taken the due diligence to investigate the area around the home one was buying. Now, due to their own oversight, suddenly it is someone else who is expected to change in order to remedy the self-inflicted problem of the homeowners. With that being said, I do think that a collective solution can be found to address those who failed to exercise their responsibility to be an informed homebuyer.

  2. The Anishinaabe Nation’s word for wild rice is manomin, meaning ‘gift from the creator’. It is a wild grass that grows annually from seed and produces a valuable grain that is low in fat but high in protein, fibre, B vitamins and minerals. For thousands of years, it has been a staple food for indigenous communities across North America, including the Anishinaabe peoples living in this territory.

    Mississauga Anishinaabe have harvested wild rice in the Kawarthas since time immemorial as an integral cultural, spiritual, and economic practice. Wild rice or manoomin is an excellent food source because it is rich in protein and can be dried and stored for winter, making it an essential component of traditional food security.
    Manoomin used to be very abundant in the Kawarthas. This was like the rice bowl of North America. Our manoomin totalled more than Manitoba, Nova Scotia, Saskatchewan, and Minnesota’s and Wisconsin’s rice. Rice Lake’s name originates from the extensive wild rice beds that once flourished in its waters in the early 1900s. But with colonisation and development, the crop became scarce.

    “Anishinaabe manoomin inaakonigewin gosha” translates as “wild rice is Anishinaabe law”, drawing attention to the importance of wild rice for Anishinaabe people and the need to decolonize non-Indigenous cottagers.

    It cannot be overstated how important manoomin is to the Anishinaabeg. Our relationship to manoomin is over 15,000 years old; it goes all the way back to our migration story and how we as Anishinaabeg came to be on these lands upon which we raised our families for generations. Manoomin was central to how we came to be here. And for thousands of years, the Anishinaabeg have honoured that relationship.
    Beyond that, manoomin is connected to Anishinaabeg notions of governance and by that, I mean governing our communities and governing ourselves and how we go about our lives on this earth as Anishinaabeg. There are teachings within manoominike (the harvesting of manoomin) that are central philosophical and spiritual tenets of the Anishinaabeg; teachings about respect, reciprocity, working for others, humility, gentleness, responsibility, balance, about relationships, and giving more than you take. Anishinaabeg rarely tell each other how they should be—we have too much respect for freedom and self-determination to do that—instead we are shown how we should be through our land-based practices including manoominike. So in this way, wild rice is our teacher. And when the manoomin or our freedom to harvest manoomin is threatened, part of our existence as Anishinaabeg is threatened.

    This continued conflict over wild rice speaks to a larger issue about land within the settler colonial system and about the ways in which the state—supported by the people who benefit from settler colonialism—seeks to keep Anishinaabeg from being Anishinaabeg on the land.

    As Leanne Betasamosake Simpson, an Anishinaabe scholar and a member of Alderville First Nation states: “Wild rice has always been a really important being for Anishinaabe people – as a food source and as a part of the economy. In late August and early September, people would gather together at the rice beds and harvest it in canoes. We have traditional stories about ricing. We have ricing songs and dances as part of our system of governance. It’s a cornerstone of our way of life. Harvesting and producing wild rice is a beautiful process, full of hard work. It’s full of relationships with the land, with the water, with community, with elders. It can be a really amazing community-building experience. There’s been a lot of actively attacking wild rice and modifying the natural waterfront so that people can have beaches and clear water. This has had devastating impacts on First Nations, because it’s such a staple, a cornerstone of our nation and our way of being. We’re in a stage where we’re trying to recover from the damage. When you’ve got this imposed poverty that Anishinaabe people have had to cope with for so many years, it’s difficult to find nutritious food. The production and consumption of wild rice is really important now.”

    “Anishinaabe food systems are an important part of our economy. They’re an important part of being Anishinaabe. Engaging in our practices – in our songs and dances, being self-sufficient, raising our children inside of our intelligent systems – these are all things that make very strong, healthy, contributing Anishinaabe people. Two hundred years ago, we had wild rice, maple sugar, wild meat and fish, and small gardens. So we were living a very healthy lifestyle. Participating with a group of Anishinaabe people in this process is another added benefit. There’s nothing more beautiful than being out on a lake in the fall, gently knocking the grains of wild rice into the canoe. We look at it as a gift from our creator.”

  3. Manoomin (wild rice) has been growing in our lakes for at least 3500 years, and native people have been tending and moving seed around to ensure a secure food supply. When Europeans moved in and took control they built dams and destroyed thousands of acres of our sacred food. Rice Lake where Im from was a place where our people came from great distances to harvest manoomin for hundreds of years. The rice was flooded out by the dams the harvest was over, most of the fish and wildlife that utilized the rice disappeared as well. The manoomin belongs to us leave it alone!

    • Hello Jeff

      Perhaps we should get together and discuss this situation. The areas of our concern is where there was no rice, nor water except for a narrow river that flowed north out of Omemee This area was farmland until the Buckhorn dam was built. At no time since then has there been any large amount of rice stands in this area. In 2013 you made the statement that there was only between 100- 200 acres of wild rice in Pigeon Lake. Kawartha Conservations current estimate is in excess of 1200 acres. This increase in wild rice is a direct result of James Whetung’s seeding open water where there was no rice beds.

      Your 2013 article regarding the restoring of rice beds I believe was meant to return the rice beds to their original state which your elders told you about. I do not believe that the intent was to seed all the open water in the lakes.

      I have stated in every conversation regarding this issue that we respect the traditional harvesting rights of First Nations. And still do. This is not the issue. The issue is the intentional seeding by James Whetung of open water directly in front of properties which is causing irrefutable harm to our community.

      I would like to talk with you and have a dialogue of how we could go forward and come up with ideas of how we could resolve this impasse.

      Yours sincerely
      Larry Wood

  4. Great to see this organized!
    Wondering why Big and Little Bald Lakes are not included. They are part of this system and all connected without lockage.

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