“In my mind, every time I hit a new plant, miigwetch—thank you,” Ackley says in the video. “Then the rice comes in for me because I am honoring and praying to that rice—giving it that respect that’s going to keep me and my partner going—no matter if I’m poling or the guy tapping the rhythm.”
Once the rice is collected it’s roasted and parched—dehydrated so it can be stored for up to five years, so long as it doesn’t get wet.
“The older people told me that the Creator gave us this manoomin to help us survive… It’s the Creator’s food and Mother Earth, she gives it to us to use. That’s why they call it food that grows on water,” Ackley says in the video.