LANSING, Mich. (Michigan News Source) – A bill that would make wild rice Michigan’s official “state native grain” is moving towards Gov. Gretchen Whitmer’s desk for her expected signature.
The bill’s passing and potential signing comes in November, which has been designated Native American Heritage Month.
Wild rice is considered to be one of the most culturally significant plant species among the Great Lakes tribes.
According to its website, the Michigan Wild Rice Initiative (MWRI) was formed from an understanding between state and tribal governments that wild rice in Michigan needs to be protected and restored.
The initiative states it’s meant to bring together people from all 12 federally-recognized tribes, multiple state departments and federal agencies to share information and approaches with one another on how to best conserve wild rice.
If the bill is signed, it will be the first state native grain designation in the United States.