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CULTURALPerseverancebringsprotectiontoPentogaParkburialsiteCrystalFallsMich.BrightyellowleavesformedasoftmataroundtheSpiritHousesrestingonthecrestofahillthatdescendstoChicaugonLakeinCrystalFallsMichigan.ThescenewasonceofavibrantOjibwecommunitywhosevillagespreadoverthehillsideborderingthelake.Tuckeddeeplyinthewoodstodayitisacounty-ownedparkcalledPentogaParkmanagedbyIronCounty.IfeelsafeheretodaystatesgiiwegiizhigookwayMartinLacVieuxDesertsLVDtribalhistoricpreservationofficerTHPObutwhenIfirstcameherein2007IfeltsadverysadandtroubledThestoryofLVDsstruggleoverPentogaParkbeganin2006whenatribalmemberwhohadcampedattheextensiveparkcalledMartinsatten-tiontotheSpiritHousesthereandthefactthatcampingwasallowedinverycloseproximitytothem.ThisledMartintoaninvestigativevisitin2007toseeforherselftheconditionsurroundingthisoldOjibweburialsite.Therewasapathrightthroughthemiddleofthesite.Kidswereridingtheirbicyclesthroughthere.Campersandhook-upsabuttedSpiritHouses.Someoneevenhadasun-showerstrungonatreeover-hangingonetheoldburialhousesshestates.ThescenewasdeeplytroublingforMartinwhoalsowonderedwhatotherburialsmightbebeneaththesurfaceofthisnowpopularplayground.ThusbeganherjourneytorestorehonorandrespecttothoselaidtoresttheresomecenturiesagoandtoprotectatleastthesiteofthoseSpiritHousesthatstillgavewitnesstoaonceflourishingOjibwecommunitythehomeofancestorstoLVDmembersaswellasLacduFlambeauandKeweenawBaymembers.MartinsfirststepwastocontacttheIronCountyBoardBoard.IronCountypurchasedthelandinthe1920swiththepurposeofpreservingtheburialsitesandrecognizingtheseearlyinhabitantswiththeestab-lishmentofapark.ThenamePentogarecognizesthewifeofChiefEdwardsthelastchiefoftheChicaugonLakecommunitywhoreceivedapatentforthelandandsolditin1891.PentogaalsoliesburiedintheparkseparatefromtheexistingSpiritHousesandadjacenttoareadesignatedforchildrensburials.MartinapproachedtheBoardin2007hopefultoestablishacooperativecareagreementbywhichtheLVDTribethroughtheTHPOwouldassistwiththeprotectionandmaintenanceofthesiteparticularlyaroundtheSpiritHouses.Amonganumberofprovi-sionstheagreementcalledforfencingthatwouldencompasstheentiresiteandafifty-footbufferfromcampingsitesandhook-upsaswellascontinuedcoordinationwiththeTribesTHPO.ItalsoindicatedtheTribewouldbewillingtosharewithsomeoftheexpensesandrequestedsignageRespecttheseSacredGroundsthatwouldremindvisitorsthattheareaisafterallacemetery.AlthoughtheBoardlistenedtoherproposalataDecember2007meetingshewasultimatelyunsuc-cessfulingainingcooperationfromtheBoardtomoveforward.FurtheroverturesincomingyearsalsofaileddespitedeterminedeffortsbyLVDtribalmem-bersKevinandCarolWhiteandAshleyWhitewhoexpressedconcernsaboutthedisarrayinthecemetery.MartinattributesthereluctancetopossibleexpensesthepossibilityofloosingfivecampgroundsitesandtheprospectofsharingsomecontrolwiththeTribe.DisappointedbutundeterredMartinkeptlook-ingforsupportandinvestigatedpossibleavenuestogainprotectionforthesite.Becausenofederaldollarswereinvestedintheparkfederalinterventionwasnotpossible.Itwasntuntilthisyear2014whennewfacesappearedontheIronCountyBoardthatcooperativeactionbegan.MartincreditstheBoardandespeciallyCountyAdministratorSueClischfortheeffortanddedicationthataftereightyearsfinallyledtopassingaCooperativeCareAgreementbetweentheLVDTribeandtheIronCountyBoardinJuly2014.InherlettertotheBoardthankingthemfortheircooperationMartinstatesExecutionoftheCoopera-tiveCareAgreementbythepartiessolidifiestheTribeandCountysgovernment-to-governmentrelationshipandmarksthebeginningofaneweraasthepartiesjointlycoordinateandmanagethecareandpreser-vationoftheBurialGroundsatPentogaParkwheretheTribesancestorswerelaidtorestmorethanacenturyago.ThiscooperativeagreementhasledtothenewfencingthatnowencompassestheSpiritHouseswithfundsprovidedbytheTribe.Arowoflargebouldersontheoutsideofthefencingformsanadditionalbarrierfromintrudersintothearea.Abufferzonethatrequiredmovinghook-upsandcampsitesfurtherawayfromtheburialgroundspreventscampinggearandcampersfrominterminglingwiththeSpiritHouses.Deadtreesanddebrishavebeenclearedfromenclosureandfinallytheancestorswererecognizedwithaceremonyandtheburialsitemeticulouslysmudged.TribalmemberswhowishtovisitandhonortheirancestorscanbeadmittedtothesitewithpermissionthroughtheTHPO.ForMartinshewalksthegroundsrespectfullyfullyawarethatmoreburialsitesmaylieunidenti-fiedbeneathherfeet.LookingoutoverChicaugonLakeshecanimaginethesprawlofaoncebustlingvillageherewhoseownancestorsmayverywellalsoliebeneathourfeetatPentogaPark.ButIfeelgoodherenow.Ifeelsafeshestates.BySueEricksonStaffWriterGiiwegiizhigookwayMartinLacVieuxDeserttribalhistoricpreservationofcerhasfocusedherattentiononprotectingthetribalburialgroundsatIronCountysPentogaParkinMichigananeffortwhichshebeganin2006andwhichcametofruitionin2014.OneofherancestorsHelenKorneisshowninthePentogaParksign.photobySueEricksonDevelopingabarrierbetweencrowdedcampsitesandtheSpiritHouseswasaprimarygoalinprotectingtheburialsites.FollowingaCareAgreementwithIronCountynewfencingandabarrierofboulderswereputinplacetopreventfurtherdisturbanceatthesite.photobySueEricksonAnhistoricalmarkernearthePentogaParkSpiritHousestellsthestoryoftheparksacquisitionfromthelastChicaugonLakeleaderChiefEdwards.TheparkisnamedafterChiefEdwardswife.photobySueEricksonTheSpiritHousesandburialgroundsatPentogaParkCrystalFallsMichiganwereopentothepublic.Peoplewalkedthroughtheareachildrenevenbikedthroughandcampsitesabuttedsomeofthedelicateburialstructures.ThankstoacooperativeagreementbetweentheLacVieuxDesertBandandtheIronCountyBoardtheburialgroundshavebeencleanedofdebrisandarenowprotectedbyafenceandboulderbarrier.photosubmittedMAZINAIGANPAGE18WINTER2014-2015