A morning journey to the headwaters. A great presentation by Naturalist Connie Cox. Best of all no one fell in, even with the layer of fresh snow.
First we went on the way to Potlatch, where balsam fir caused many to begin coughing. Plant manager Pete Aube warned the balsam could cause problems for some and it did. The plant technology was great, with the 3-D scanning and grading. Most of our group is familiar with cropland owner/tenant relationship, and Pete gave an explanation of landowner/logger/mill relationships.
Then we moved on to Red Lake and a delicious walleye and wild rice lunch. Father Jerry told his struggles and successes with the church and school. He shared some statistics of the area, such as 80% poverty and single digit graduation notes.
Our tours included the hospital, nursing home, greenhouse, fishery, and Red Lake Nation foods. The hospital looked beautiful and the system was based on walk-in appointments.
The fishery was an adventure. They clean them fast and buy them for Red Lake residents. Fishing could be your job if you are a reservation member!
The greenhouse is state of the art and shaved the nation’s commitment to using lumber as a profit center. Trees can be a great sources of income for the reservation.
At Red Lake Nation Foods we had a chance to shop for wild rice, mixes, jellies, and soup mixes. They do ship as well…
A power-nap on the ride back to Itasca. The bus was silent as we drove back to the hostel. A beef meal at Lobos and we all enjoyed fellowship at the hostel.