Wild rice (Zizania palustris) has been a cornerstone of the economy and culture of Eagle Lake First Nation for centuries. Eagle Lake has always been a source of nourishment, recreation and economic opportunity for our community, and the wild rice that fields that populate the lake have filled our stomachs and pockets for years. Over the past 20 years, the level of Eagle Lake has been rising due to the construction of the Eagle River Dam currently managed by Regional Power Inc. This rise in water levels has made the cultivation and harvest of wild rice impossible on the lake. Recently, Chief Pitchenese has opened dialogue with Regional Power, with the hope of reaching a mutual understanding regarding the incredible importance of wild rice to our community. These exchanges are documented below.
Letter from Chief Pitchenese to Regional Power – June 7th, 2011
Regional Power Response to Chief Pitchenese – June 22nd, 2011
Chief Pitchenese Response to June 22nd Letter – June 27th, 2011