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MARTENBLACKASHBASKETSSharinginfoaboutwaabizheshiByJonathanGilbertPh.D.GLIFWCWildlifeBiologistLaPointeWis.Thisbasketmakingishealing.Ikeepdoingthisbecauseittouchespeopleindifferentways.Itshealingandempoweringandsoitisimportanttocarryonthiswork.ThesearethewordsofcraftswomanAprilStone-DahlaBadRivertribalmember.Aprilisawifeamotheroffourwonderfulchildrenandabasketmaker...perhapsbylineage.Sheholdsupanoldpicturewithtwoofherrela-tivesstandinginfrontofahouseandinthebackgroundsitsablackashbasket.Maybetherewerebasketmakersinmyfamily...IdontknowImayneverknow...butmaybeitsinmyfamily.Aprillearnedaboutthiscraftinthespringof1998withherhusbandJarrodwhenthecoupletookclassesattheNorthHouseFolkSchoolinGrandMaraisMinnesota.Atthisclassshelearnedhowtofeltwoolwhileherhusbandlearnedtomakeanashbasket.Althoughveryhappywithherwarmfeltedbootiesshebegantonoticehowmuchthebasketherhusbandhadcreatedwasbeingputtouse.Overthefollowingyearshewatchedasthebasketheldupandmaintaineditscomposureformanyseasons.Thissparkedaninitialinterestunderstandingandreverenceinthematerialaswellasthehistoryofash.Aprilspentthegreaterpartof2000simplylearningaboutashsplintbasketrythethicknessesandwidthsandratiosthatappealedtoherassheattemptedmak-ingherfirstbasketcreations.Attimesitprovedveryfrustratingandshelongedforsomebodytoaskquestionsof.Sinceshecouldnotfindanybodytoteachherhowtomakethemsheperseveredandsoismostlyself-taught.Astheyearsprogressedherworkbecamemoreandmorerefined.Theprocessofbasketmakingisverylaboriousandelaborate.TheStone-Dahlsdoeverythingfromharvestingtheashtreesfromtheswampswheretheygrowtopoundingthelogsfortherawmaterialstoweavingthebasketstolife.Thesimpleprocessofharvestingandprocessingthelogteachesussomeofthosesacredteachingssuchaspatiencehumilityandrespect...fortheworkthatwedofornatureandforcreation.Basketryinthebroadsenseisolderthananyspokenlanguageintheworldtoday.AsforthehistoryofashsplintbasketryinparticularandinNorthAmericathereseemstobetwomaintheories.OnetheoryisthattheEuropeansbroughtitwhiletheothertheorystatesthatthenativesalreadyhadit.TheEuropeansbroughtatypeofoaksplintworkwiththemwhentheyarrivedandthentaughtittothenativesofthelandscape.Ashsplintworkbasketrywasalwayshere.WhentheEuropeanscameandtherewasaninterminglingofrelationshipsandlifestylesasharingtookplaceonmanylevelsandsharingsplintbasketrywasoneofthem.TheavailabilityofashinthenativelandscapecoupledwiththetechniquesoftraditionaloaksplintEuropeanbasketmakingmadefornewperspectivesonashsplintbasketsandwhatwasmade.Aprilconsidersthesetheoriesbutremarksitisveryhardformetobelievethatthefirstpeoplesofthisplaceaswellasthosethatmigratedandmovedlongdistancesandhavingsuchanintimateconnectionwiththelandscapeandnaturewouldnothaveknownthequalitiesoftheashtree.Mohawkoraltraditionsrelatingtoashsplintbasketrydatesbackwellover2000yearsmakingthispre-contact.Aprilspecializesinutilitarianbas-ketsbasketsthataregoingtobeusedandserveapurpose.ShemakesitclearthatthestyleofbasketshecreatesdoesntnecessarilyreflectancientAnishinaabebasketstheysimplyreflectherownpersonalstyle.Thereareonlyafewbasketsleftfromourancestorsafewspecimenshereandthereonthereserva-tion.ImalwayslookingforstoriesaboutashsplintbasketsandattempttorelatethembacktoBadRiver.Thosestoriesarefarandfew.AfterspendingoverfifteenyearsmasteringthecraftofashsplintbasketryAprilsworkandexpertiseisinconstantdemand.ShetravelsaroundtheGreatLakesregionrunningworkshopsandteaching.TothosethataspiretolearnthetradesheinsistsItsareallyempower-ingfeelingtomakesomethingwithyourhandsnomatterwhatitis.Whetheritscarvingaspoonortanningahidewevereallygottenawayfromempoweringourownselveswiththiskindofknowledge.Theressomuchtolearn.BasketsfromthehandsofourancestorsByDylanJenningsGLIFWCPIOLTEAprilStone-DahlBadRivertribalmemberandherhusbandJarrodhavebeenengaginginthecraftofblackashbasketryforover15years.TheStone-DahlsshownherewithdaughterRenatravelextensivelysharingtheirexpertiseandloveforthecraftandthenaturalresourcesassociatedwithit.DJInsetBlackashbasketmadebyAprilStone-Dahl.CORKrakowPolandTheMartesWorkGroupwasfoundedin1993andconsistsofwildliferesearcherswhostudyanimalsbelongingtothegenusMartessuchasfishersAmericanmartenspinemartensandsables.TheWorkGroupobjectiveistofacilitatecom-municationamongpeoplewithacommoninterestinMartesresearchconservationandmanagementprograms.Oneofthesignificantaccomplishmentsofthisworkinggroupisthebringingtogetherofmembersofthegroupandotherinterestedpeopleforinternationalsymposia.Overtheyearstherehavebeenfivesuchsymposiaandeachhasresultedinthepublicationofaproceedingswhichhascontributedinasignificantman-nertothepublishedknowledgeofspeciesbelongingtotheMartesgenus.ThelocationoftheInternationalMartesSymposiumrotatesamongthecountriesofthemembers.PastsymposiahavebeeninWyomingAlbertaNewfoundlandPortugalandWashington.TheSixthInternationalSymposiumoftheMartesWorkGroupwasheldinKrakowPolandJuly202420014andbroughttogether45participantsfrom13countries.Presentationsrangedfromnon-invasiveDNAstudiesofpinemartensinIrelandFranceandNetherlandstoGPScollaringintheUSAtothepara-sitesofmartensinLithuania.IfoundthepresentationonwolverinesinChinatobeinteresting.Solittleisknownoftheseanimalsthatjustthebasictechniquesiesnowtrackingwereusedtogathermuchofthedatapresented.Apresentationoftheyellow-throatedmarteninKoreashowedthesemartenspeciestobecommunalandfrugivoresthatislivingtogetherinlargegroupsandfeedingmostlyonfruits.ThiswasaninterestingtwistasmartenspecieshereinnorthAmericaaresoli-taryandcarnivorous.PresentationsontheEuropeanpinemartenshowedhowtheseanimalsliveincitiesandareconsideredpestsdoingdamagetohousesandvehicles.Againsuchadifferentstoryascomparedtothemartensherewhichliveinthedeepwoodsandarerelativelyrare.IwasafoundingmemberoftheMartesWorkGroupatthe1993symposiumandIwasfortunatetoattendthissymposiummarkingthefourthofthesixsymposiathisgrouphasheldwhichIhaveattended.Igaveapresentationonhowourunderstandingofmartenandfisherhabitathaschangedovertheyearsofresearch.Weunderstandnowhowimportantsomeofthefeaturesofournorthernforestsaretomartensandfishers.Especiallywecannowseethatsmallpocketsofhemlocksandcedarsareusedextensivelybymartensandfishersforrestingandforhunting.Thiswasanewdevelopmentandwaswellreceivedattheconference.AlsoDylanJenningsandIdevelopedaposteraboutthewaabizheshidoodemanormartenclan.ThiswasanunusualposterforthisgroupasnotmanypeopleatthesymposiumwereawareofOjibweIndiansletalonetheirclansystem.ButatthepostersessionmanypeoplecommentedonthisculturalperspectiveandhowmuchtheyappreciatedthenewtwistonMartesresearch.ThelastdayoftheconferenceincludedafieldtriptotheTatraMountainsNationalParkPoland.ThiswasabeautifulmountainousareaontheborderwithSlovakia.ManyoftheissuesfacingnationalparksintheUSAwerethesameissuesfacingTatraMountains.Therewereissuesofover-browsingbyreddeercausingvegetationdamage.Windthrowdamagecausedlargeareasoftreestobeblowndownandparkpersonnelwereworkingtorestoretheforesttotheareabutwonderedaboutplantingtreesversusnaturalregeneration.Andofcoursetoomanypeoplewhowanttovisitcausetheirownsetofissues.Atthebusinessmeetingattheendofthesym-posiumthegroupselectedthelocationofthenextInternationalSymposium.WeintheLakeSuperiorregionhavebeenhonoredtohostthenextsymposium.ItwillbeheldinAugust2018mostlikelyinDuluthMinnesota.MartenposterexcerptpresentedattheSixthInternationalSymposiuminKrakowPoland.MAZINAIGANPAGE8WINTER2014-2015