MAZINA’IGAN PAGE 2 FALL 2017 • RETIREMENT/PARTNERS • On the cover An omashkooz bull in the 1836 Ceded Territory. See pages 12-13 for Ceded Territory elk status and efforts to reintroduce omashkoozoog* to eastern Minnesota. (Michigan DNR photo) *Omashkoozoog is plural for elk. By Charlie Otto Rasmussen, Staff Writer While springtime boat landing protests were in the rearview mirror by early 1993, skepticism over the sustainability of Ojibwe spearfishing lingered for a vocal segment of Wisconsin sportsmen. The unease further permeated relation- ships between natural resource managers after a period of contentious negotiations between state and tribal officials. “There were some raw emotions at that time, but we had work to do, a fishery to manage,” said Robert Jackson, former Bureau of IndianAffairs (BIA) biologist. HewasalsochairmanoftherecentlyformedJointAssessmentSteeringCommittee (JASC)—an interagency collection of biologists organized to administer a defini- tive examination of northern Wisconsin’s walleye population. Just before the open-water fishing season got underway, inspiration struck on a visit to Dick Rose’s home; Jackson and the Discover Wisconsin television producer hatched a plan to defuse tensions by bringing together representatives from the state, Ojibwe tribes, and federal government for an informal day of walleye fishing. To round-out the gathering—they hired fishing guides, another group uncertain whether co-managing a fishery would be successful. Out on the water, individuals from all sides were literally all in the same boat. Partners in Fishing was born. Partnerships arise from protest sites AftertheinauguralfishingeventnearSt.Germain—anareaofracially-charged protests against Ojibwe spearers only a few years earlier—Partners in Fishing became a fixture of interagency relations and additional guides were brought in as the annual gathering grew. Lac du Flambeau, St. Croix, Lac Courte Oreilles, and Red Cliff communities all served as hosts in the first years. “There’ssomethingaboutsittinginaboat,fishingwithaperson,spendingtime getting to know each other,” said Dave Clausen, Department of Natural Resources Board member from 2006-2013. “When you have issues to work out [between the State and Tribes], it’s really valuable to know someone on a personal level.” At 25, Partners in Fishing a model for fishery management At the recent 25th Partners in Fishing celebration on the Flambeau Chain, retired Bureau of IndianAffairs Biologist Robert Jackson presents the prize—a St. Croix rod—for the largest walleye caught to Angelena Sikora, US Fish & Wildlife Service biologist. Following retirement, Jackson has continued his role as master of ceremonies. (C. Rasmussen photo) (see Partners, page 15) In final calculation DePerry finds retirement Aftera31-yearcareerasacentralfigure at GLIFWC, Gerry DePerry has followed a paper trail leading straight into retirement. “It’s been a good ride for me,” said a smilingDePerryathisretirementcelebration atRedCliff’sLegendaryWatersConvention Center. The USAir Force veteran launched his GLIFWC career in 1986 serving as a bookkeeper. Three years later he assumed the deputy administrator position and went on to oversee development of GLIFWC’s accounting and fiscal management func- tions. Through leadership and transparency, DePerryhelpedensureGLIFWCfundswere properly used to implement treaty rights, andtoprotectnaturalresourcesintheCeded Territory.Atceremoniesandtribalmeetings, hecarriedtheGLIFWCpipeformanyyears, starting gatherings off in a good way. “I think very highly of the Commis- sion and its member tribes,” said DePerry, a Red Cliff member. “Over the years I’ve developed a lot friendships with the tribal chairs. Some are here today and some have walked on. But we’re all carrying the torch for that next generation.” Officers from GLIFWC member bands presented a wide variety of gifts to DePerry at the May 23 gathering, and an intertribal drum group played an honor song. A notable speaker andjokester,hekepthiscommentsbriefandfrom the heart on this occasion. “I want to say chi miigwech to all the staff that’s here today and my family,” said DePerry, pointingouthiswifeSue,andsonBill,alongwith a number of brothers and sisters in attendance at his feast. —CO Rasmussen Gerry and Sue DePerry examine a special retirement cake adorned with photo images. (COR photo) On May 22, GLIFWC premiered the second short video in the Ogichidaa Storyteller series. “Lifting Nets: Gurnoe Deci- sion” debuted at Legendary Waters to an audience of about 100 community members, young and old, who turned out to see how RedCliffandBadRivermembersinitiatedthe1972treatyrights case that affirmed their tribes’ fishing rights in Lake Superior. After the film screening, a few Ogichidaag took the stage to share both emotional and humorous memories from that time. Ron DePerry, the only surviving member involved in Gurnoe v. Wisconsin, was among them. “Lifting Nets: Gurnoe Decision” is available for viewing on GLIFWC’s YouTube channel at glifwc. Next in the lineup for the Ogichidaa Storyteller series is a video that will highlight the treaty rights case Jondreau v. State of Michigan. Filming for that video began in June. “Lifting Nets: Gurnoe Decision” was funded in part by a grant from the Wisconsin Humanities Council, with funds from the National Endowment for the Humanities. “Lifting Nets” Premiere Ron DePerry (left) and other Red Cliff commercial fishermen share stories at the “Lifting Nets” premiere. (COR photo)