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Ganawenindiwag: Working with Plant Relatives to Heal and Protect Gichigami Shorelines

Ganawenindiwag: Working with Plant Relatives to Heal and Protect Gichigami Shorelines

Ganawenindiwag cover

About the project

As current land and water caretakers increasingly look for erosion management alternatives to armoring at the shoreline, this 2021 science transfer team identified an opportunity to develop a planting guide resource that provides appropriate teachings and background so that all coastal caretakers can support access to foods and medicines that underscore tribal sovereignty and the important resurgence of Anishinaabe language, culture, and lifeways.

About this resource

Ganawenindiwag (they take care of each other in Ojibwe) empowers users to grow, promote, and use plants adapted to coastal areas of Gichigami (Lake Superior) to heal and protect shorelines which may have experienced erosion from storms and changing water levels. Focused on the Wisconsin coast, Ganawenindiwag is designed for use by coastal-land caretakers, homeowners, resource stewards, and anyone who interacts with shorelines of Gichigami and its connecting waterways. Ganawenindiwag helps users make coordinated and informed plant selections for vulnerable coastal environments, while inviting readers to see the cultural relationships between people and plants that have long existed in this landscape.

Readers of Ganawenindiwag will be introduced to 97 plant beings with photos and iconography sharing known cultural relationships, and text that describes environmental preferences and bank stabilization potential. The resource is infused with a rich narrative that highlights Ojibwe land stewardship and includes tips on planning and caring for shoreline planting projects. The front cover and interior pages are adorned with colorful Ojibwe florals, embellishments, and iconography designed by Anishinaabe artist Sarah Howes.

Over the course of two years, Ganawenindiwag was developed by a collaborative team including an advisory group of knowledge holders, the Reserve, GLIFWC, the Lake Superior Research Institute, and UW–Madison Division of Extension’s Natural Resources Institute. Many knowledge holders generously contributed their time, wisdom, and creativity to the development of this resource.