New tribal law protects culturally significant cedar trees

By Brendan Wiesner
Sault Ste. Marie News
February 21, 2024
Category: Forestry
Region: Canada, Canada East

EASTERN UPPER PENINSULA — A new Sault Ste. Marie Tribe of Chippewa Indians law aims to protect culturally significant white cedar trees. Earlier this month, the Sault Tribe announced an update to the Tribal Code that will ensure the sustainable harvest of northern white cedar trees, otherwise called Giizhik trees. Giizhik trees are a type of tree that grows in many areas in the Eastern Upper Peninsula (EUP), including places of great significance to local tribes. The oldest of the trees can live up to a thousand years, and some of the trees in the area are 400 years old or older. Tribal officials said Giizhik trees have been an important part of Anishinaabe culture since long before colonization. The cedar trees are important both culturally as well as practically, as they have provided materials for building tools, boats and other materials. …There are hundreds of northern white cedar trees throughout the EUP, and the new tribe law will protect them from unsustainable harvesting.

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