Bradley E. Harrington, Commissioner of the Mille Lacs Band DNR, announced on Sept. 14 that ricers would be allowed to harvest until sunset on Onamia Lake and Shakopee Lake in District I.
Prior to the Commissioner’s Order, ricers were required to stop ricing at 3 p.m. Title 11, Chapter 5, of the Mille Lacs Band Statutes prohibits ricing between sundown and 9 a.m.
The order reads as follows:
“To provide more opportunity for Band Members to participate in Manoominikewin, I declare the hours of Ricing to be during the hours of 9:00 A.M. to Sundown on the lakes of Onamia and Shakopee.
“A large barrier to taking part in traditional harvesting is our interaction with the contemporary world. In order to be adaptable as Anishinaabe people, we need to realize when opportunities are in place to have the ability to perform our sacred duties as Anishinaabe. Using what the Manidoog have given us should not be restricted by anyone except the Manidoog themselves.
“With this comes a responsibility. Use your asemaa, ask for guidance and love. Ask for our harvest to be bountiful so we are then provided the spiritual nourishment along with physical nourishment.
“Also, avoid being greedy. Take what you need or intend to provide for others. Abuse of these gifts will not only restrict us spiritually but also physically. As in, Manoomin will go away. Be safe. Mii iw”
The order does not apply to other lakes on or off the reservation.