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STATE OF THE TRIBESNATIVE NATIONS SUMMIT Madison Wis.Zhewenimaad is a word that Anishinaabe have used for centuries.Itreferstotheabilitytohavecompassionforthem.Compassionrespect and mutual understanding were common themes at the 2015 University of Wis- consin UW Native Nations Summit on Environment and Health hosted by the UW-Madisons Nelson Institute. On March 12 tribal leaders and representatives from the various tribal com- munities in Wisconsin traveled to Madison and participated in a two-day summit. The opening remarks highlighted the century-long relationship that Wisconsin tribal communities have had with UW-Madison. Everything began with the his- toric meeting of the Society of American Indians on campus in 1914. Nearly one hundred years later the meeting was revived. GLIFWC Chair and Lac Courte Oreilles Band Tribal Chairman Mic Isham looked upon the one hundred year old photo of Wisconsin tribal leadership and recognized his relative. Its truly an honor to sit where they 1914Wisconsin tribal leadership have sat and made these decisions for the betterment of our people. Menominee Tribal Chairman Gary Besaw told the crowd There is no word in our language for natural resources simply because we recognize that everything has a spirit. Having researchers understand this is crucial for our people he said. Jacqueline Pata Executive Director of the National Congress of American Indians was the keynote speaker and set the stage in a good way. She emphasized that all data acquired from research relating to tribes must be tribally driven and tribally owned. Larry Roberts Assistant Deputy Secretary for Indian Affairs of the U.S Department of the Interior stressed the importance of obtaining this data from a policy standpoint. He made it clear that research and baseline data help tremendously in the formulation of federal budgets. The final day of the summit involved graduate presentations and smaller breakout sessions. Sixteen UW researchers presented on current research endeav- ors in partnership with Wisconsin tribes. These presentations segued into topics for breakout sessions which included water quality and fisheries healthy living culturally appropriate economic development education and culture climate change traditional agriculture and food security health in the clinic and mining. Theideawasprettysimplethetribesshouldbetheonesthatbenefit from research topics involving tribal communities. The summit aimed at gaining insight into the realms of research that the tribes are seeking. Every breakout session had a facilitator or expert in the particular field to help record input and maintain the flow of the conversations. UW students were also present at the summit to record information and learnabouttherelationshipbetweentheuniversityandthetribes.Wunk Sheek American Indian Student Organization President Sam Pecore was one of the Native American students in attendance. I got a lot of positivevibesanditwasgreattoseeeveryonecometogethershesaid. Newconnectionsweremadeandrelationshipsformed.Asthedrum sounded and the retreat song was rendered both UW leaders and tribal leaders could return to their homes knowing that this aura of compas- sion respect and mutual understanding will guide the people into the future. As Lac du Flambeau Tribal Councilman Brooks Big John put it Lets not wait another hundred years to sit down and talk with each other. Lets take action and do some good things for our people. The Eagle Staff carried by Ho-Chunk Spiritual Leader Gerald Cleveland was danced out of the room and everybody was left with blessings on their travels and a promise for a new tomorrow. UW summit brings Wisconsin tribal leadership back to campus By Dylan Jennings Staff Writer Tribal leaders from Wisconsin tribes gather on top of the Bad River watershed map created by University of Wisconsin PhD student Jessie Conaway and the Bad River Youth Outdoors program. photo by Dylan Jennings Madison Wis.It is time to move beyond saying to doing aim at increasing ties between state agencies and tribal governments in order to streamline and improve the services our Tribal Nations require stated Chris McGeschick Soka- ogonChippewaCommunityChairmaninhisMarch 5 State of the Tribes Address to the Wisconsin Legislature. He also called for more inclusion in decision-makingmoreinclusionaroundthetables and more opportunities for tribal input. While the call for more action from the State remainedacentralthemeofMcGeshicksmessage he outlined six areas he deemed critical to aiding the development of tribal communities today 1 economic development 2 greater access to nutrition and health care 3 improvement of the tribal justice system 4 expanding and improving educational opportunities 5 protecting tribal lands 6 promoting tribal culture and language. McGeshick encouraged legislators to work with tribes to promote collabora- tive community-based economies and sustainable local economies that promote self-sufficiency. A strong gaawiin no to iron and frac mining in Wisconsin was a prominent element of the address prompting applause from the tribal constituents and Demo- crats alike. Gaawin he said is necessary to protect and preserve the land and water andalltheresourcesderivedfromthem.UnlikemanyothersMcGeshickexplained tribalfolkscannotsimplypackupandmoveawayiftheirenvironmentisdegraded. Tribes cannot simply move away from risks or shift their treaty harvesting areas because they are fixed in place in their ancestral territory. In the area of health and nutrition he encouraged support of approving natural foods harvested from treaty areas for use in institutional programs. He also recom- mended the state and tribes work together to promote physical activity programs for youth both before and after school. While applauding the idea of affordable care McGeshick said that this has not penetrated the reservations where they still rely on inadequate dollars from Indian Health Service. As for tribal justice systems McGeshick says they are lacking adequate political legal and financial support that would allow tribal governments and judicial systems to function equally with state and federal systems. He listed the chronic shortage of resources and technical assistance increasing frequency of violent crime conflicts related to economic development initiatives limitation of tribal court sentencing authority lack of rehabilitation and incarceration facili- ties and confusion over jurisdictional lines between federal state and tribal authorities. By Sue Erickson Staff Writer McGeshicks message to the Wisconsin Legislature Stop saying and start doing Ogichidaag veterans follow behind the deweigan drum as the 2015 State of the Tribes Address begins with a procession of the first flags of the land the Eagle Staffs. photos by Dylan Jennings Chairman McGeshick. See McGeshick delivers State of the Tribes page 18 PAGE 11 MAZINAIGANSUMMER 2015