Date of Award

August 2020

Degree Type


Degree Name

Master of Arts



First Advisor

Marcus B Filippello

Committee Members

Margaret A Noodin, Nigel T Rothfels


Anishinaabek, Anishinaabemowin, Maple Tree, Sugarbush, TEK, Traditional Ecological Knowledge


This paper starts with my own personal experience of turning maple sap into maple syrup in the prologue. This is done to ensure everyone knows the process of turning maple sap into syrup since many do not know. While then discussing Aninaatigoog (maple tree), Shkakamikwe (earth) or also the environment, I explain the importance of acknowledging the existence of Aninaatigoog and Shkakamikwe as living, breathing entities as part of a kingdom. I also discuss how important it is to communicate to them like any other group or community that shares the same space that we live in. Using traditional stories from the indigenous groups in the great lakes area, focusing on the Anishinaabeg and their language to better understand the Anishinaabeg ecological knowledge or their traditional ecological knowledge (TEK). I discuss the COVID-19 pandemic of 2020 using traditional knowledge to explain the importance of what COVID-19 is trying to say and to place COVID-19 in context with the ecological disruption caused by colonialism. This is all done while trying to show the importance of sugarbush and how this ceremony strengthens the community.

I also discuss some Aadizookaan, traditional stories and teaching of the Anishinaabeg, that have been published already. I relay these Aadizookaan to help show the difference in Anishinaabeg philosophy and compare this philosophy to a Western philosophy. I will then use a chapter to discuss the language of the Anishinaabeg to help show this deeper meaning into the philosophy of the Anishinaabeg and the relationship to Shkakamikwe. This all ties into traditional ecological knowledge and correlation with the environment, along with understanding the problems we currently observe today. I also discuss the importance of sugarbushing and how, even today in this modern society that we live in, it should be more widely practiced.