To continue reading this article and others for free, please sign up for our newsletter.

Sahan Journal publishes deep, reported news for and with immigrants and communities of color—the kind of stories you won’t find anywhere else.

Unlock our in-depth reporting by signing up for our free newsletter.

Success! You're on the list.


We rely on reader support, and your donation to Sahan Journal will help us shine a light on immigrants and people of color in Minnesota. Join over a thousand supporters now and become a Sahan Sustainer with your monthly donation. Thank you.


Your contribution is appreciated.

Talking to trees, the cool April air, and frogs: Michelle Defoe and her three daughters share the ancient Ojibwe tradition of tapping maple trees for syrup.

Michelle Defoe, a member of the Red Cliff Band of Lake Superior Ojibwe, says you have to respect the trees for the medicine they provide: speak to them, offer them food, and leave them alone to recover once warmer weather wakes up the frogs. Last month, Defoe and her three daughters tapped a sugarbush–a grouping of sugar maple trees–near Duluth.