Kevin W. Leecy

David C. Morrison, Sr.

Council Members
Gordon Adams, Jr.
Ray Villebrun, Sr
Kevin A. Strong

Executive Director
Barb Brodeen

Anin! As Chairman of the Bois Forte Band of Chippewa it my pleasure to welcome you to the Bois Forte Department of Natural Resources website.

Bois Forte is located in northern Minnesota, approximately sixty miles south of International Falls, MN and the US-Canadian border. The Anishinabeg ("The people") of Bois Forte have a long, rich history of land stewardship and natural resource use and management. Much of our resource management is focused directly upon wild rice, or "manoomin", in our native language.

Manoomin, roughly translated, means or "food that grows on water". Our people see the manoomin as a gift. It is something highly prized and cherished by our people for its sustenance and spiritual power for centuries. We hope to share our interest in wild rice with you through this site.

Nett Lake, located centrally within our reservation lands, is a 7400-acre wild rice lake that is arguably the largest contiguous wild rice lake in the world. Wild rice is not actually rice, but a native grass seed. At maturity, tall plants (up to six feet or even taller), produce many seeds that readily fall into a canoe when the plant is gently tapped with sticks. This is the traditional way in which our people harvest the manoomin each fall.

With every harvest, some grain falls over the edge of the canoe into the water. This is living seed, and its loss from the boat is actually a gain, because each seed will form a new plant in the spring of the year. In this way, harvesting wild rice is actually a resource sustainability practice.

We hope that you can take some time to investigate our site further. In it you will find maps, information and some very interesting wild rice restoration project overviews. Also, if you are a waterfowl hunting enthusiast, I invite you to look into scheduling a waterfowling trip with one of our native guides. You will be truly astonished at the sheer numbers of waterfowl that you will see!

Finally, I would suggest that you go to our wild rice sales page and order some of our wild rice to try for yourself. Our native wild rice has been called the best in the world, and it truly lives up to that accolade. Our staff can help you with ordering, questions about our rice, or even recipes and cooking information, if you wish.

Bois Forte has seen tremendous growth and development over the past decades, and we are still moving ahead rapidly. Through it all, however, is a remembrance of our past, and the resources that sustained us. We have not forgotten those natural gifts, and we work every day to make sure that those are preserved and enhanced.

We at Bois Forte are proud of our resources and our programs. And we are pleased to offer this site to you. We hope you enjoy your visit here. Gii gah wee bah min minowwa! Miigwetch!

Kevin Leecy, Chairman
Bois Forte Band of Chippewa

(Anin! means "Hello"!;
Gii gaa waa baa min minowaa! means "I'll see you again!";
Miigwetch! means "Thanks"!)