Page 1 Page 2 Page 3 Page 4 Page 5 Page 6 Page 7 Page 8 Page 9 Page 10 Page 11 Page 12 Page 13 Page 14 Page 15 Page 16 Page 17 Page 18 Page 19 Page 20 Page 21 Page 22 Page 23 Page 24• NAFWS • National conference brings honors, views and news from afar NAFWS in the Great Lakes region Green Bay, Wis.—With an eye to reclaiming its bedrock identity as a grassroots organization, the Native American Fish & Wildlife Society (NAFWS) convened for its 34th annual national conference on the Oneida reservation May 16-19. Complete with familiar science- based sessions on tribal natural resources programs and a social pow wow,theconventionalsoyieldedtime for heart-to-heart discussions on how to improve advocacy for NAFWS’s 225 member tribes. “Natural resources should be the basis for being a tribal people,” said National Tribal Liaison for the US Fish & Wildlife Service, Scott Aiken.“Andwhenitcomestogetting wordto[Washington]DCabouttribal natural resources needs, that should come from us, the Society.” Thesentimentseemedbroadlysharedamongthe150-plusparticipantsinclud- ing Norm Jojola, a NAFWS founding father who said the Society has lost touch with Federal agencies—crucial partners in funding and managing shared natural resources. In recent decades, the National Congress of American Indians (NCAI) has taken on much of the Society’s liaison role of building working relations between tribes and federal agencies. As observers pointed out, however, natural resources is only one of many pressing concerns that NCAI representatives bring to Washington DC. NCAI additionally promotes economic development, education, tribal gover- nance,andhealthandhumanservices.MembersoftheNAFWSBoardofDirectors affirmed that they took the comments seriously and pledged to explore strategies for a revitalized presence in the nation’s capital. Sounds familiar Despite the vast distances between some tribal communities, many natural resourcesissuesareverymuchsimilar.Wildlifediseases,nativespeciesrestoration projects,andexoticinvasiveorganismsalloccupykeynichesinlocalenvironments. With nearly 20 members in attendance, the Yakama Tribe was well represented at the conference, sharing research and perspectives on natural resources. OneYakamapresenter,Fish- eries Technician Sara Sopappy, detailedeffortstotrackthesuccess of hatchery-raised salmon in the Yakima River Basin. The granddaughter of Col- umbia River treaty rights pioneer Richard Sohappy (see Sohappy v Smith 302 F.Supp. 889), she’s become familiar with blue heron rookeriesalongtheRozaReach— places that yield tangible clues as to the fate of salmon smolts. What the project lacks in glamour is easily countered by innovation. Prior to release into the river system, fisheries staff embed tiny PIT (passive inte- grated transponder) tags into each fingerling salmon. Over the fol- lowing months rubber-booted technicians armed with portable antennas patrol rookeries—large heron colonies featuringstick-builtnestsneartreetops.Therewithinthebirddroppingsunderneath nests, PIT tags await detection. Over a five-year period, Sohappy said that the Selah Rookery produced 3,100 hits. At another site, the Wapato Wildlife Rookery, tribal staff detected 4,097 PIT tags. That’s a lot of young salmon. “We’ve learned which areas smolts are more vulnerable to predation,” Sohappy said. Herons are near-shore waders, feeding in the shallow waters of rivers, backwaters and lakes. Data from the project is helping the tribe and its fisheries co-managers select the best locations to release hatchery-reared smolts, which are crucial in the effort to restore Pacific-run salmon. What’s good? In a region where walleye is the ogimaa (king/chief) of fish dinners, the words stung like the barbs of an upraised dorsal fin. The elder from southern Washing- ton’s Yakama Tribe would have nothing to do with a NAWFS lunch featuring a rough fish like walleye. “No, I like to taste my fish,” said the discerning woman, part of a delegation from the Columbia River region of the Pacific Northwest. Several of her compan- ions nodded deeply in agreement. A few Midwestern jaws dropped and the Oneida Radisson Hotel lobby momentarily threatened to whirl uncontrollably. What!? But it didn’t take long to understand that where we grow up, how wild food is valued, is worthy predictor of what tastes good.AYakama fisheries specialist further pointed out that walleye were considered a trash fish in the Columbia River system. Just another invasive species. “Most, if not all, introduced species negatively impact salmon,” she said. In the Columbia River region where salmon is the ogimaa, that includes the mild- flavored walleye. Accolades The highest honor of the conference—the Chief Sealth Award—went to Michael J Isham Jr., Lac Courte Oreilles Tribal Chairman as well as chair of GLIFWC’s Board of Commissioners. During a May 19 ceremony Isham said he shares the award with many individuals that have shaped his career, including the late Nisqually leader Billy Frank, Lac Courte Oreilles elders George Morrow and Frank Lynk, and a host of others. Additional accolades went to Brian Saluskin of the Yakama Nation who received the NAFWS Biologist of the Year. Mariano Conley, Gila River Commu- nity, won the Conservation Law Officer of Year Award. Out on the target range, the Great Plains team took top honors in the Law Officer Shoot Competition. The NAFWS Board of Directors selected the Menominee Tribe’s Donald Reiter as the organization’s next president. NAFWS presidential terms run for one year. The NAFWS Board of Directors represent seven regions throughout the US; two board directors serve each region. By Charlie Otto Rasmussen, Staff Writer Sara Sohappy, Yakama fisheries technician, breaks down a project that tracks blue heron predation on salmon. (COR photo) Michael J Isham Jr. (left), Lac Courte Oreilles Tribal Chairman and chair of the GLIFWC Board of Commissioners, received NAFWS’s highest honor, the Chief Sealth Award, on May 19. Menominee’s Don Reiter, who presented the Sealth Award, was earlier named NAFWS president. (COR photo) Fred Matt, NAFWS Executive Director Representatives from GLIFWC’s Camp Onji-Akiing explained outreach strategiesfortribalyouthataconferencesessionentitled“CulturalPreservation: Getting Youth Involved.” Pictured from left: GLIFWC Chief Fred Maulson, student counselors Cole Chapman, Rashawn Bell, and Maranda Maulson, and GLIFWC Outreach Officer Heather Naigus Bliss. (COR photo) MAZINA’IGAN PAGE 10 FALL 2016