Our Story

Welcome to Giizhigat Maple Products

There is a sappy but sweet 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.

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 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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Gee-weej-ja-ma ......… we learn from our Mother’s spiritual sacred flowering teeming love of life. – Isaac Day

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.

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.

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.

Isaac's Story

Gee-weej-ja-ma ......… we learn from our Mother’s spiritual sacred flowering teeming love of life. – Isaac Day

Noongwo g’miigwechweyaanaa GizheManido minik miinigozwininan miinwaa maanagooing –

Today we give thanks to the Creator for so much fortune and what we have been given.  We are thankful for our family – We couldn’t do this without the hard work and dedication of our two sons Isaiah and Liam

MAPLE SYRUP (sweet water)

Sweet water has been an important aspect of many indigenous cultures, including both of ours, Anishinaabe(Ojibwe) and Kanyen’keha’:ka (Mohawk). Sweet water was used in ceremonies, for cooking, and it was respected as a cleansing medicine for the people. Those traditions continue to this day. Sweet water brought love and sweetness into the lives and spirits of the people; it brought happiness to the people and it lightened their spirit. We give thanks that Aninaatig continues to bring life to the people. From our Family to yours — Adding more love & sweetness to our lives

Sharing our Journey with you!