2013 American Indian Heritage Month

Shirley Brauker demonstrates how to harvest wild rice on a pond near Manistee.Little River Band of Ottawa Indians Ogema Larry Romanelli,  artist Shirley M. Brauker and State Conservationist Garry Lee unveiled the 2013 NRCS American Indian Heritage Month poster at a ceremony in Manistee on Sept. 5. The poster will be distributed nationwide to commemorate American Indian Heritage month in November.

NRCS distributes a poster annually with a different state selected to provide the image each year. Brauker's painting of three women harvesting wild rice from a canoe was selected from several submissions by Michgian artists. A committee of NRCS staff selected the theme for the 2013 poster, “Land of the Great Water—Sustainer of Life.


The caption on the poster reads:

"The oral tradition of the Anishinaabe, or Ojibwe people, of the Great Lakes region is that centuries ago their ancestors migrated from the Atlantic coast. One of the prophecies they followed on this migration was to find a place where “food grows on the water.” Manoomin,  (wld rice) is seen as a special gift from the Creator.  It  became a healthy staple of the Ojibwe  diet, as well as being important culturally and spiritually to the Anishinaabe people.

2013 NRCS American Indian Heritage Month PosterThis painting by Shirley M. Brauker, a member of the Little River Band of Ottawa Indians, depicts three Native American women harvesting wild rice. The women wear customary calico clothes adorned with ribbons. The “Rice Spirit” watches from just beneath the water.  Her hair is Manoomin."