The Experimental Lakes Area, east of Kenora and just west of Vermillion Bay, is gearing up for another season of research.
A water ceremony by the women of Treaty #3 was held on Monday to help prepare students and researchers.
Pauline Gerrard is the deputy director of the IISA-ELA and says it a unique experience for them.
"This is the first opening of the field (research) season that we've started with the water ceremony," says Gerrard.
"We're really very fortunate and blessed to have so many members of Grand Council Treaty #3 come out and help us with the ceremony and as well so many staff an students were able to participate."
Gerrard adds that the women from Treaty #3 came out back in the fall to do a similar ceremony and recommended a similar ceremony in the spring.
"Most people said it was powerful. I think for a lot of people, it was their first water ceremony, so that's really great to be able to give people that opportunity. The elders, this group of women who do the ceremony are so great and they really bring in a lot of teachings."
The water ceremony traditionally takes place just as the ice is going out of the lakes.