Jim Northrup: Carving taps in Sugar Camp

Produced by Nick Vander Puy
Reserve, Wisconsin (www.IndianCountryTV.com)  

Some things never change.  

Every year Jim Northrup and his family make maple syrup and sugar cakes on the Fond Du Lac Ojibwe reserve in northeastern Minnesota. They tap more than a hundred trees and boil down in an old fashioned kettle, as did his father and grandfather and many generations before.

Out in the backyard, underneath a brown canvas tarp, with the family helping gather wood and skim the scum from the surface of the kettle, a surrounding wall of dry wood makes the kettle boil wildly.  A small strip of bacon suspended from some wire keeps the kettle from boiling over.

Wielding a very sharp Buck knife, Northrup demonstrates how to make taps from local wood.

"There's something in my genetic makeup that requires this food."

 

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