Manoomin is an aquatic grass that grows in coastal wetlands, rivers, and lakes in water depths of 1-3 feet. During early summer, its leaves float on top of the water. The plant undergoes a physiological change and emerges from the water in a stalk that grows up to 6 feet in height. The grain ripens in August and September.
Manoomin means "good berry" in the Ojibwe language. At one time the Ojibwe people lived on Atlantic coast. They were told in prophecies to migrate to the west until they found the place where "food grow on the water." That food is wild rice. This native grain is found through the Ojibwe Ceded Territory of northern MN, WI and MI. It is an important staple food of the Ojibwe people and is also important to wildlife.