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Seeds (heirlooms) of the Illinois and Miami tribes

 
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Greetings friends and family. Blake here to ask for some assistance in seeking more types of heirloom crops from the Miami and Illinois nations, besides the Miami and Tamaroa white flour corn, Ohio pole beans, Potawatomi-Miami cranberry beans, Miami spotted pumpkin, Illinois cushaw, Miami cornfield beans, Illinois red seed watermelon and Gete Okosomin, which I already have, but searching for more. I'm focusing on the Calumet region of Chicago and Indiana, off the shores of southern Lake Michigan, which is where I'm from. I work at a community farm in neighborhood in Chicago, where I educate folks about indigenous food and medicine to help heal the earth to bring better health to all. Please let me know if there's anybody out there who has these resources to offer me. Thanks always!
 
pollinator
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https://www.nativeseeds.org/ focuses on tribes in the southwest, but they might know who to contact for info on the midwestern tribes.
 
Blake Lenoir
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Hey Ellendra. I've already tried the folks over in Arizona, and one of them told me to go to Seed Saver out in Iowa or Dream of Wild Heath in Minnesota for Midwest heirlooms. I did what I could to find more landraces or strains of Illinois and Miami crops to aid my restoration gardening effforts. There was a guy named John White from the Ancient Lifeways Institute in Illinois, who died 14 and a half years ago, did his very best to restore true Illinois culture back into this modern time. He had a close friend, Barry Haglan a fellow seed saver like John, came from Iowa told me the Illinois grown black sweet corn, Tamaroa flour and flint corn, lima bush beans, red seed watermelon, cushaw squash, yellow crookneck, wild tobacco, sunchoke, and possibly Shawnee sunset squash. There was also a gal from the Miami nation who told me her people grown Miami tan pumpkins and blue and red flint corn out in Indiana. I'm looking for many heirlooms as I can to collect to help not only save, but also give back to future generations of the Miami and Peoria nations both in Indiana and Oklahoma. I'm looking for more quality sources and stuff to help me quickly to bulid a very strong foundation to brighten the future of not only my community, but to the Native American communities and beyond to make greater society that's totally substainable and independent from big ag and big pharm to help heal our overall land. Much love and thanks!
 
Blake Lenoir
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Hello? Anybody there? I'm looking for more types of corn from both the Miami and Illinois nations besides, Miami and Tamaroa white flour corn, Tamaroa flint, Tamaroa red stripe flour corn and a black sweet corn (aka black Mexican), according to the late John White from the Ancient Lifeways Institute in Illinois, who died 14 years ago? You all know Mr White at all? Thanks!
 
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Fascinating project. Wish I could help more but I did add this thread to seeds forum. This source for wild rice might meet your criteria.
 
Blake Lenoir
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I don't have nowhere to put wild rice, cause my future pond will be too narrow and the water will need cleaner conditions in order for it to surrive. I'm focusing primarily on corn, beans, squash, watermelon, sunflower, pumpkins and tobacco for both of the tribes I've mentioned. Have you heard of Leonard Blake and his expertise on corn? You also read about Corn Of The Upper Missouri River by George and Will Hyde? Check it out!
 
Mike Barkley
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No, I've never heard of Leonard Blake or the Hydes. My knowledge of & experience with growing corn is minimal. I've been fairly successful with Cherokee popcorn though. Cherokee tomatoes are my favorite tomato to eat but they are tough to grow. Grew some Illinois cushata squash for the first time this year & they did good. Seminole pumpkins usually do very well for me here in TN. Tried some Trail of Tears beans this year but they struggled. I recently learned that sunroots (sunchokes) are mildly allelopathic so that might have been their problem. Was trying to grow those beans up the sunroot stalks.

I enjoy growing heirloom & regionally important plants but if there's only one thing I've learned from Joseph Lofthouse & others here on permies it's that genetic diversity is key to successful long term gardens.
 
Blake Lenoir
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Happy 2021 to all the family on this forum! Back again to reach out to those who have historic sources and documentations of the ethnobotany of the Miami and Illinois nations to this day. I'm also looking for those who are Peoria, Kaskaskia, Wea or Miami descent out there who know the agricultural history of both nations and the varieties of crops they grow centuries ago. Those of descent or those who have collected and saved native American seeds from the Midwest and Great Lakes, be welcome on this forum to share feedback, updates, ideas and stuff. I'm doing a community restoration garden project in my neighborhood to help not only restore, but return these heirlooms to their rightful owners in their present homelands. Please join on right away if you're of Illinois or Miami descent in this effort. Thanks!
 
pollinator
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Have you tried reaching out to the American Indian Center in Chicago?  They have some gardening projects and might be able to put you in contact with gardeners from these tribes.

https://aicchicago.org/first-nations-community-garden/
 
Blake Lenoir
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I already have been in touch with them, and they said they don't know much about the folks from the Miami or Peoria about any ethnobotany. I've also tried to reach out these folks about the types of corn and stuff from both tribes, and here's what I came up. For the Peoria, I got Shawnee white flour corn, Miami pole bean and Gete Okosomin squash, next is the rest of the Illinois Confederation. 1. Illinois cushaw squash, 2. Illinois red seed watermelon, 3. Illinois Tamaroa white flour corn, 4. Illinois Tamaroa red stripe  flour corn, 5. Illinois Tamaroa flint corn, 6. Black Mexican or Illinois black sweet corn, and 7. Genuine cornfield bean. I'm missing some Jackson Wonder Lima bush bean which is said to be grown from the Illinois and other tribes in the Midwest, as well as possibly Shawnee sunset squash and few others the Illinois use to grow that I'm trying to look for. I'm looking for more types of corn, beans, squash and stuff from the Inoka (Illinois).  Next is the Miami. 1. Miami white flour corn, 2. Gete Okosomin, 3. Miami tan pumpkin, 4. Miami spotted pumpkin, 5. Miami gray pumpkin, 6. Miami or Ohio pole bean, 7. Miami cornfield bean, and 8. Miami cranberry bean. The Miami use to grow many types of corn other than the white corn, which is sacred to them, ranging from light to dark types of corn including black and blue corn. I've been on the Myaamia ethnobotany website sponsored by the Myaamia center at Miami university in Ohio, to check out some good details on domestic and wild plants in Miami territory. This was directed by Mike Gonella an ethnobotanist from California who helped the Miami center with their research on historic plants. You should check him out, along with the website. By the way are you Miami or from one of the former Illinois bands including the Peoria and Kaskaskia by chance? If you are, then tell me about yourself? I'm a community farmer from the south side of Chicago, who's working his butt off to reserect the agricultural and ecological glory of not only of both tribes, but for the Potawatomi and others that use to live in the Calumet region of Chicago and Indiana, from off the shores of Lake Michigan. I'd like to hear from you soon. Much love!
 
Mk Neal
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I have no ties to the native peoples of Illinois; I am just a squatter on Pottowattomi land here.  I am interested in finding heritage crops from the area, though.
 
Blake Lenoir
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Potawatomi crops here goes! 1. Potawatomi or Walpole Island white flour corn, 2. Mskigwat or Potawatomi red flint corn, 3. Potawatomi white flint corn, 4. Potawatomi red dent corn, 5. Potawatomi blue popcorn, 6. Potawatomi mix or white flour corn from Kansas, 7. Miami white flour corn (being traded to other neighboring tribes), 8. Red Lake flint corn, 9. Anishinabe strawberry popcorn, 10. Anishinabe pink corn, 11. Calico sweet corn, 12. Ojibwe Bear Island flint corn, 13. Ojibwe red flint corn, 14. Ohio pole or Potawatomi pole bean, 15. Potawatomi Lima bean, 16. Miami-Potawatomi cranberry pole bean, 17. Odawa bush bean,  18. Odawa pole bean, 19. Ojibwe black bean, 20. Scarlet red runner or bear paw bean, 21. Genuine cornfield bean, 22. Potawatomi cowpea, 24. Gete Okosomin squash, 25. Potawatomi pumpkin, 26. Potawatomi cushaw squash, 27. Miami spotted pumpkin, 28. Menominee squash, 29. Yellow crookneck, 30. White scallop, 31. Potawatomi red seed watermelon, 32. Potawatomi tobacco, 33. Ojibwe pink flower Tobacco, 34. Cherokee Potawatomi bean, 35. Sunchoke, 36. Groundnut, 37. Common milkweed, 38. Black Eye Susan (rubeckia hirta), 39. Prairie or white sage and 40. Sweet grass. Big list huh? Hope that keep you mighty full for now. Out!
 
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