Our Story2021-02-03T22:21:00-05:00

There is a unique story to tell regarding Giizhigat Maple Products (GMP). The business itself grew out of family traditions, Deborah and Isaac’s families have been producing maple syrup products for many generations.

Deborah’s Mom recalls helping her Uncle collect sap and hauling the syrup out of the bush on a large stone canoe pulled by a horse. Deborah’s Father also told stories of how he helped his Grandmother collect maple sap and boiled it in a large cast iron kettle. Deborah’s Dad also recalls collecting and hauling sap by horse and wagon.

Isaac recalls helping his Grandfather make maple syrup as a young boy. Each family would have their own area to tap. His Grandfather would make a gash in the tree using an axe. The sap would flow along a handmade wooden trough and into a birchbark basket. Isaac remembers the Elders building a temporary shelter made of saplings and covering the sides and top with balsam branches. The sap would be boiled inside all night long. As a young boy, Isaac recalls lying inside the hut and watching the stars at night. The Elders would often hunt and fish during the early morning. They would try to catch some sleep during the day so they could boil sap all night long. The sap was boiled in a large cast iron kettle.

Deborah and Isaac initially began tapping their maple trees (about 25) on their current home on the Six Nations of the Grand River. Together with their 2 boys and Deborah’s Father, they would collect the sap and boil all day outside. Their family has fond memories of sharing stories, lots of laughter and meals cooked over the fire.

Deborah & Isaac are enjoying their new venture of making maple syrup on their farm on St. Joseph Island. When they purchased their farm, they had no intention of producing maple syrup; they just fell in love with the property! In the beginning there was no intention to produce maple syrup on a commercial scale, but Deborah & Isaac couldn’t help noticing the opportunity their farm presented. Fast forward to 2012 and Giizhigat Maple Products was born. The name Giizhigat (gee-jaa-gut) in Ojibwe translates to Day; Giizhigat is Isaac’s original family name prior to being translated to English by Government agents years ago. To date, Giizhigat Maple Products produces and sells maple syrup. They also sell maple butter, maple candies and maple sugar.

Although business is growing, it’s not all about profits and maple products. GMP also sells authentic handmade Indigenous crafts like the dreamcatchers Deborah’s Mom creates. The long-term vision of the company is to reinvest profits to build a teaching lodge (They already have a non-profit in place – Rainbow Thunder Star Mountain). A place where all are welcome to learn the Universal Star Lodge Teachings that Isaac has been gifted to carry, a place for all to learn how to reconnect with Mother Earth, and how to live in harmony through traditional knowledge. That is the vision regarding the legacy and success story of Giizhigat Maple Products.

There is a unique story to tell regarding Giizhigat Maple Products (GMP). The business itself grew out of family traditions, Deborah and Isaac’s families have been producing maple syrup products for many generations.

Deborah’s Mom recalls helping her Uncle collect sap and hauling the syrup out of the bush on a large stone canoe pulled by a horse. Deborah’s Father also told stories of how he helped his Grandmother collect maple sap and boiled it in a large cast iron kettle. They would collect and haul the sap by horse and wagon.

Isaac recalls helping his Grandfather make maple syrup as a young boy. Each family would have their own area to tap. His Grandfather would make a gash in the tree using an axe. The sap would flow along a handmade wooden trough and into a birchbark basket. remembers the Elders building a temporary shelter made of saplings and covering the sides and top with balsam branches. The sap would be boiled inside all night long. As a young boy, Isaac recalls lying inside the hut and watching the stars at night. The Elders would often hunt and fish during the early morning. They would try to catch some sleep during the day so they could boil sap all night long. The sap was boiled in a large cast iron kettle.

Deborah and Isaac initially began tapping their maple trees (about 25) on their current home on the Six Nations of the Grand River. Together with their 2 boys and Deborah’s Father, they would collect the sap and boil all day outside. Their family has fond memories of sharing stories, lots of laughter and meals cooked over the fire.

Deborah & Isaac are enjoying their new venture of making maple syrup on their farm on St. Joseph Island. When they purchased their farm, they had no intention of producing maple syrup; they just fell in love with the property! In the beginning there was no intention to produce maple syrup on a commercial scale, but couldn’t help noticing the opportunity their farm presented. Fast forward to 2012 and Giizhigat Maple Products was born. The name Giizhigat (gee-jaa-gut) in Ojibway translates to Day; Giizhigat is Isaac’s original family name prior to being translated to English by Government agents years ago. To date, Giizhigat Maple Products produces and sells maple syrup. They also sell maple butter, maple candies and maple sugar.

Although business is growing, it’s not all about profits and maple products. GMP also sells authentic handmade Indigenous crafts like the dreamcatchers Deborah’s Mom creates. The long-term vision of the company is to reinvest profits to build a teaching lodge (They already have a non-profit in place – Rainbow Thunder Star Mountain). A place where all are welcome to learn the Universal Star Lodge Teachings that Isaac has been gifted to carry, a place for all to learn how to reconnect with Mother Earth, and how to live in harmony through traditional knowledge. That is the vision regarding the legacy and success story of Giizhigat Maple Products.

Isaac’s Story

Isaac recalls helping his Grandfather make maple syrup as a young boy.  Each family would have their own area to tap. His Grandfather would make a gash in the tree using an axe. The sap would flow along a handmade wooden trough and into a birchbark basket. Isaac remembers the Elders building a temporary shelter made of saplings and covering the sides and top with balsam branches. The sap would be boiled inside all night long.  As a young boy, Isaac recalls lying inside the hut and watching the stars at night.  The Elders would often hunt and fish during the early morning. They would try to catch some sleep during the day so they could boil sap all night long.  The sap was boiled in a large cast iron kettle.

Deborah’s Story

Deborah’s Mom recalls helping her Uncle collect sap and hauling the syrup out of the bush on a large stone canoe pulled by a horse. Deborah’s Father also told stories of how he helped his Grandmother collect maple sap and boiled it in a large cast iron kettle. Deborah’s Dad recalls collecting and hauling sap by horse and wagon.

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