Local tribe’s culture and core values sweeten the pot for Maple Syrup Making

eightWest

Michigan is one of the leading producers of Maple Syrup, but there’s a rich history that brings together core values and history of the Nottawaseppi Huron Band of the Potawatomi Tribe. Jordan Carson had the opportunity to visit the Pine Creek Indian Reservation to learn about Maple Syrup making, and learn how this program was lost for generations, and is now being reestablished within the tribe.

The NHBP Environmental Department manages the Sugar Bushing on the Pine Creek Indian Reservation. Sugar Bushing is the process of extracting raw sap from maple trees. After extraction, the department produces and bottles maple syrup to sell at the annual Flapjack Friday event and at the Environmental Department.

The Maple Syrup Program participants start collecting sap around the beginning of each year and continues through Good Friday. The collection begins with the Blessing of the Maples ceremony held at the Grandfather and Grandmother Maples on the Pine Creek Indian Reservation. The ceremony teaches attendees that he trees and Mother Earth are sacred to Native American sand should be given high respect.

Flapjack Friday is an event that is open to Tribal Community Members each spring. The annual event is centered around cultural teachings on the importance and significance of maple syrup and concludes with a meal for the Community to enjoy.

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