Please enjoy these coloring pages. More images will be added as they are created, so check back periodically.
Each title begins with the word first in Ojibwemowin, the Anishinaabe language, and is linked to a recording of how it is said.
Beavers are the largest member of the rodent family in North America. They were an important animal for the fur trade, when they were trapped and their pelts traded or sold to make hats and goods. At the time of the fur trade, Native people caught them for food and other items.
Beavers alter the places they live by cutting down trees with their teeth to build their homes. Their front teeth are orange from an iron coating that makes them stronger. Did you know they can cut down a six-inch-thick tree in fifteen minutes?
Beavers raise their families in lodges they build of sticks and mud. They escape predators by swimming into their den through underwater openings. They have special coverings, like goggles, for their eyes and close their nose and ears to be able to stay underwater for as long as twenty minutes!
Beaver lodges block streams and trap water to make ponds. These ponds can be homes for other animals and fish. Beavers work hard to plug holes with sticks and mud to keep their lodges dry inside and maintain the ponds. If beavers leave an area, their lodges fall apart, the ponds disappear, and animals that live in them might not have a home anymore.
Moose are the largest member of the deer family, which also includes deer, elk, and caribou. It is also the largest wild animal in Minnesota. They have long legs that make it easy to walk through deep snow and ponds where they eat water plants and willows.
Moose are a traditional food source for Anishinaabe people in northern Minnesota. They weigh around 1000 pounds – a lot of meat!
Wolves are the largest member of the dog family, which in Minnesota also includes coyotes and foxes. Northern Minnesota once held the last remaining wild wolf population in the Midwest. Over time, wolves moved into more areas of Minnesota, nearby Wisconsin, and into the Upper Peninsula of Michigan.
Wolves are very social and live in family groups that work together called packs. Usually this is a pair of mates and their pups, sometimes also pups from previous years. In Minnesota and the Midwest, packs average four to eight members. When older pups are present in a pack, they might assist with raising the newest litter by watching over them or helping hunt for food. Wolves prey on deer, moose, and also beavers or other small mammals.
Here you see noozhe-makwa (sow) and makoons (cub) together. Black bear cubs will stay with their mother for about a year and half. During this time young bears learn what to eat and how to stay safe while they grow.
Black bears are the only type of bear in Minnesota. They usually live in the upper third of the state in forests and swamps. They can also be seen in farming areas because they like to eat corn, apples, and other crops. Bears are omnivores like us, eating all kinds of food, like berries, nuts, grass, and ants. They are also very good hunters that prey on moose calves and deer fawns that are too young to run fast and get away.
Bears hibernate in a den during winter from Novemer or December to March or April. Females go into dens first and those with cubs come out latest when there is most likely to be food for the five to six pound cubs that were born in the den. Next winter, when they are a year old, the cubs will hibernate with their mother. Imagine sleeping in a den with your mother, brother, and sister!
The American marten is a member of the weasel family. Martens are important animals. They are a clan animal of the Anishnaabe. In northern Minnesota martens are at the southern edge of their range, which extends into Canada and Alaska. If conditions here change too much, they will move north. This would be a sign that the land around Grand Portage is becoming a different kind of forest.
Historically, martens were valued for their fur in fashion. Like beavers, they were trapped to near extinction in Europe and over harvested in North America during the fur trade era. Also, they lost their homes when this area was logged in the late 1800s. In order to thrive, martens need a forest floor cluttered with brush and debris, as well as dense tree coverage. They do best in northern forests with a lot of snow, away from human disturbance. In winter they stay warm in the air created by brush or roots covered with snow, where they also can find small rodents to eat.
Deer are the smallest member of the deer family that includes deer, elk, moose, and caribou, all of which lived in the Grand Portage area at one time. When caribou still lived in northern Minnesota, deer were uncommon. Changes from farming and less snow in winter make this area better for deer now. All members of the deer family eat plants (herbivores).
White-tailed deer have a long tail that they wave like a flag to signal danger to the herd. Male deer (bucks) grow antlers and them shed them at the end of winter. Baby deer (fawns) are born in spring and have white spots on their fur for their first three to four months.
Many animals prey on deer. Wolves, coyotes, black bears, and bobcats hunt and eat deer, often when they are young fawns and easier to catch.
When you color this doe, think about where she lives and draw a background for her home.
This cedar waxwing is eating a gozigwaakomin (serviceberry, juneberry, saskatoon, wild currant). Waxwings get their name from waxy-looking red feather tips on their wings. In size they are between a sparrow and a robin. Cedar waxwings eat all kinds of fruit, including cedar berries in winter that give them the rest of their name. What kind of cedar grows at Grand Portage? (giizhik, northern white cedar, which is used in canoe building)
Cedar waxwings live all over North America except Alaska and the northern provinces of Canada. They are found at Grand Portage year round, and often form big flocks. You can see them where you live! If you live in the southern half of the United States, you will have to wait for winter.