Bois Forte Band of Chippewa
City: Nett Lake, Minnestota, MN,
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About Us
Natural Wild Rice from Pristine Minnesota Waters

Nett Lake, a 7,400-acre lake located on the Bois Forte Indian Reservation in northern Minnesota, is the world’s largest and most prolific wild rice lake. Its remote location, far from urban areas, near the top of three major North American watersheds, naturally isolates it from sources of pollution. The Bois Forte Band allows no fertilizers, pesticides, or outboard motors on the lake, and never has. The Bois Forte Department of Natural Resources continuously monitors water quality, and regulates access to prevent both premature harvesting and over-harvesting of rice.

All rice from Nett Lake is harvested by hand in the traditional way by two persons in a canoe. One person uses a long pole to push the canoe slowly through the rice beds. The other person, seated in front of the poler, uses a pair of smoothly-carved “knocking sticks” to pull the rice stalks toward the canoe and gently knock loose the ripened grains of rice. This technique ensures that only ripe grains fall into the canoe while unripe grains can continue to ripen for later harvest. Some grains, knocked loose by the wind, settle into the bed of the lake as seeds for the next year’s plants.

Processed for Optimum Quality

The high quality of Nett Lake Wild Rice® is the result of both the natural quality of the rice and the method used to process it. Soon after the green rice is harvested it is parched (roasted) to remove moisture. Nett Lake Premium Hand-Parched Wild Rice is processed in the traditional way, by hand, using wooden paddles to gently stir the green rice in parching pans over a wood fire. These methods reduce the cooking time for finished rice and preserve the distinctively robust natural flavor that sets it apart from the inferior paddy-grown, machine-harvested products that dominate supermarket shelves. After the rice is parched, it is winnowed to remove the dry outer hull, called Mazan in the original Ojibwe language.