A wild idea.
Some rice chiefs of the Sokaogon band of Ojibwa Native Americans
are trying to keep alive the traditions of the centuries-old wild rice
harvest. "We're following people who have passed on,"
said Roger McGeshick. "We're hoping to keep it alive. It seems
it's a lost art." They may be fighting an uphill battle.
Today, fewer are willing to devote the time and labor to gathering and
processing it in the rivers and shallow lakes of Wisconsin, Minnesota
and southern Canada. Half the wild rice has disappeared over the past
century while cheap wild rice from domesticated varieties flood the
market. Researchers today are decoding the wild rice genome, raising
fears among some Ojibwa that genetically engineered rice could someday
contaminate their lakes.