BARAGA, Mich. (WLUC) - The Keweenaw Bay Indian Community celebrated Tribal Water Day on Friday with a special conference. The KBIC Natural Resources Department used Tribal Water Day to educate the community on the work that they do involving water in the area, like their involvement at the Sand Pointe Site.
"So what we do is we go down there and do plant restoration and to protect that wetlands behind it because we have wild rice beds growing here," said Kathleen Smith, habitat specialist for the Natural Resources Department.
In addition to plant restoration, they do sampling and surveys of waters within the reservation so that can better preserve the water for future generations.
"Without the water we wouldn't have the teachings, without the teachings we wouldn't have our culture and we wouldn't have our people as we know as Anishinaabe today," said Smith.
Along with community members, the Michigan Department of Natural Resources and Michigan Technological University were present as well. Both agencies are frequent collaborators with the KBIC Natural Resources Department.
"I was really happy that we have the whole support of the community putting this event on, there's been a lot of volunteers, and I’m really glad to see we have a lot of our partners in the room," said Evelyn Ravindran, director of the KBIC Natural Resources Department.
The work that the department does is so important to community, and they hold events like Friday's to make sure that community members are involved and aware of the work.
"So letting the community know that we're concerned about the whole environmental health of the animals, the fish and the people that are here, it's been really well received," said Ravindran.
Organizers hope that those who attended use Friday's lessons to better educate people in their lives on the importance of preserving our water.
"Water is life and as we are advocates for our natural resources, without the water we would have nothing, we wouldn't have the trees or the plants that are our medicines," said Smith.