Spring-Ziigwan

When the snow and ice thaw, it is the beginning of a new year for the Ojibwe as they moved their camp into the forest to harvest maple sap for making sugar. The whole family participated in the work. They used birch-bark baskets to gather the sap. At nighttime they went fishing in the shallow waters and used a burning torch to see the fish in the lakes. It was a happy time of year after the long winter. Today, tribal members still gather maple sap, but they use metal or plastic containers to gather it and big iron kettles for boiling the syrup. They also still go fishing at night but they use an electric flashlight to see the fish instead of a birch-bark torch. Students will learn how times have changed, and yet tribal members continue to practice their traditional ways according to the seasons.

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