MAZINA’IGAN PAGE 18 SUMMER 2017 Teacher, speaker, drum keeper, spiritual advisor Amik O’gaabawiban • WALKING ON • Walking on Treaty rights a priority under Rosen’s watch By Wesley Ballinger ANA Language Specialist Amik (Larry Smallwood) (left) and the author in 2004. (COR photo) Over a 34-year career, Diane Rosen worked up through the ranks at the Bureau of Indian Affairs, promoting tribal interests in everything from real estate services to natural resources. She was ultimately pro- moted to director of the BIA Midwest Regional Office in 2009, a position held until last September. Rosen, 58, walkedonApril4atherhome in Burnsville, Minn. “Diane was a staunch advocate of tribal sov- ereignty and tribal natural resource management programs.” said Michael J. Isham, GLIFWC Board of Commissioners Chairman. “Her commitment to the Commission and its member nations has helped protect ceded territory treaty rights for generations.” ARedCliffBandmember,Rosenbeganhercareer in 1979 at the BIA Great Lakes Agency in Ashland. Fifteen years later she had earned the top spot at the Great Lakes Agency, becoming superintendent. Rosen—a frequent participant at the annual Part- ners in Fishing events—is also remembered for her good-humor and warm smile. She is the recipient of a number of academic and work performance honors. —CO Rasmussen It is a difficult thing to do—saying goodbye to someone.Innativecommunitiesourgreatestresources are those elders (gichi-aya`aag), and speakers (netaa- ojibwemojig) who carry with them old knowledge of tradition, medicine, stories, and ceremonies—the foundation of a people. When one of our speakers walks-on, we all feel a tremen- dousloss,notonlyforthefamily andcommunity,butalsoalossof ourculture,ouridentity,andour future as Anishinaabe people. We only have a small minority of first-speakers left, and when one leaves us, we are that much poorer as a nation. As a language instruc- tor, Larry Amik Smallwood passed down the teachings of Ojibwemowin to those who were willing to learn. In those languagelessons,theknowledge ofourelders,andthespiritofour ancestors connect with younger generations. It is only with the use of Ojibwemowin that we are able to conduct our ceremonies such as: naming, funerals, speak- ing for tobacco, or speaking for the drum. Being an active participant in our culture, or Anishinaabe izhitwaawin, means being Anishinaabe. It means standing up to the histories of enculturation, genocide, and systemic racism that infect our com- munities. All of these endeavors were very important to Amik O’gaabawiban, this is what led him to lend his knowledge to the work GLIFWC does for our communities. As the language and cultural director of the Mille Lacs Band of Ojibwe, he spoke at great lengths about respecting the walleye (ogaawag) and the nets (asab) we use in harvesting them. Don’t drag the nets on the ground.Theyshouldnevertouchtheground,hewould say.Hesawtheexerciseoftreatyrightsasanextension of our sovereignty and culture; how we harvest is just as important to who we are. As a member of the G.A.A.G.I.G.E. (GLIFWC Advisory And Guidance Input Group of Elders) he lent his advice and knowledge to several language and community projects that promoted the use of culture and Ojibwemowin. His work on “Inaadiziwin—the way of life,” “Gidaadizookaaninaanan-Dibaajimowinan: Stories of Culture and Respect,” and our current language project “Nenda-gikendamang Ningo-biboonagak—We Seek to LearnThroughoutTheYear,” will be a lasting testament to his commitment to language revitalization. AstheGLIFWCLanguage Specialist I had the greatest of honors to work with Amik over the past nine years. I will remember our conversations about Ojibwe names, the Old Lady who raised him, life in Aazhamoog, or that one time my uncle wanted to fight him in the 1970’s over the length of his hair. Halfthetimewewouldjust sit and talk about life in Ojibwe country; there was always a funny story to be shared by Amik. Humor was the medicine that allowed us to survive and Amik was always willing to prescribe that effective remedy. He was always ready to tease me over an editing error I made with a story he told; I mistakenly said when he was young,heusedtoskinchipmunks(yousee,theOjibwe word for chipmunk is agongos versus the word for weasel, zhingos—when said quickly they can sound similar). He would say: no matter how many times we look at our work, we will always find a mistake, and next thing you know, you’ll have me skinning chip- munks again. And then he would laugh. I will carry the memories and teachings with me, miigwech for everything you have shared, Niijii. Editor’s note: Larry Amik Smallwood, age 69, passed away on April 11 unexpectedly at Essentia-St. Mary’sHospitalinDuluth,Minnesota.Pertheauthor: the suffix iban is used to denote someone who has passed on. Mii apii waa-tagoshinoomagak manoominke-giizis wayiiba onow oshki- mazina’iganan Ojibwemong, nandawaabandan onow! (At the time of the ricing moon/August, these new Ojibwe language books will arrive, look for them!)