Bimaaji’idiwin Ojibwe Garden Program
Bimaaji’idiwin can be understood as ‘saving each other’s lives’ or ‘symbiosis’, in Ojibwemowin; reflecting the reciprocal relationship between Anishinaabe and cultivated plants. This is a thoughtful name to live up to and the Ojibwe Garden Program attempts to do so through hands on education, outreach, and Indigenous preservation practices. An important aim of the demonstration garden is to develop, expand, and maintain a collection of Anishinaabe and Native American heirloom crop seeds through a miinikaaniwigamig or seed library. This is a point of connection between a growing network of dedicated seed savers and our local gardeners.
NRCS Racial Equity Grant
Producer Training Program
The Producer Training Program (PTP) addresses natural resource issues utilizing Climate Smart agricultural practices by providing conservation training, tools, and land to beginning and emergent farmers. Its aim is to build and strengthen local food projects focused on sustainable and healthy food production as well as expand economic opportunities vis a vis market access for emergent farmers and producers and to establish an Inter-Tribal Food Sovereignty network to expand Tribal food distribution in Minnesota. The three-prong approach of supporting beginning producers, creating markets, and connecting tribal food networks supports vibrant food sovereignty programming that supports the Fond du Lac Band’s Food Sovereignty vision.
From 2018 to 2021, the PTP has connected over 50 emergent producers with established agricultural networks throughout Minnesota. Our programming increases the number of Native American producers, strengthens Inter-Tribal food sovereignty partnerships, and increases markets for Native American producers with the aim of improving the environmental and economic performance of the agricultural land at Gitigaaning and beyond.
The Fond du Lac Food Sovereignty Initiative
Vision for a sovereign holistic food system rooted in Anishinaabe values that is environmentally responsible and empowers a thriving, resilient community. The Initiative aims to balance social and ecological needs and desires of the band while providing food in a sustainable manner, strengthening community resilience to natural resource vulnerabilities and risks. The Food Sovereignty Initiative will reduce the area’s dependency on external food systems.
- Agricultural business development Farm business marketing Garden
- Planning & Seed Starting
- Collaboration garden training
- Tiller and walk behind mini tractor training
- Seed saving demonstration
- Garlic planting class
- Gitigaan Wiikondiwag – our annual Farm to Table Feast
- Fond du Lac Ojibwe School
- Fond du Lac Gitigaan Program
- Fond du Lac Head Start
- Thirteen Moons
- Nahgahchiwanong Dibahjimowinnan
- Natural Resource Conservation Service (NRCS)
- United Stated Department of Agriculture (USDA)
- MN Dept. Agriculture
- Big River Farms
The Producer Training Program hosted 40 producers during the 2022 growing season.
Over 300 people visited Gitgaaning and Bimaaji’idiwin