Page 1 Page 2 Page 3 Page 4 Page 5 Page 6 Page 7 Page 8 Page 9 Page 10 Page 11 Page 12 Page 13 Page 14 Page 15 Page 16 Page 17 Page 18 Page 19 Page 20 Page 21 Page 22 Page 23 Page 24• NEWS BRIEFS/MILLE LACS FISHERY/BEARTOWN FIREFIGHTERS • Ceded Territory news briefs Mille Lacs Lake fall ogaa survey 2016 year-class moderate, 2015 year-class weak GLIFWC, Fond du Lac, and Mille Lacs Band fisheries crews recently completed an electrofishing survey around the entire shoreline on Mille Lacs Lake in Minnesota. This survey to evaluate age 0 and age 1 walleye, or ogaa, production on the big lake has been completed by GLIFWC and the tribes annually since 1999. Crews were able to survey all 78 miles of shoreline on the sprawling 132,500 acre lake over the course of one week last September. The initial analysis of the data collected in this fall’s survey suggests that the 2016 year-class is around average. However, in recent years at Mille Lacs Lake, year-classes that start out average or above-average have often become weak by the time the fish reach spawning size due to poor survival in the juvenile life stage. The 2015 year-class appears to be weak, which is consistent with how they looked in fall of 2015. In the coming months, GLIFWC and MNDNR biologists will review these results and those from other fall assessments before using them to update walleye population models. –Mark Luehring AKRC reunites with GLIFWC Reaffirm Anishinaabe Akii Protocol Canadian delegates from the Treaty #3 communities near Lake of Woods, Ontario travelled to Wisconsin Ceded Territory in mid-September. The visitors were a part of the longstanding organization known as the Kabapikotawangag ResourcesCouncilorAKRC.ThedelegationsoughtconsultationwithGLIFWC and its member tribes regarding resource management, federal policy and preservation of language and culture. Over 18 years ago, AKRC and GLIFWC signed the Anishinaabe Akii Protocol, which solidified tribal relations and reaffirmed the commitment to the protection of the natural environment and the resources that Anishinaabe subsist upon. SomemembersofthedelegationalsotouredtheWaadookodaadingOjibwe immersion school while on their trip. Others toured the Bad River community andlearnedaboutmanoominmanagementandtheBadRiverNaturalResources Department. –Dylan Jennings Early season hunting mirrors 2015 Treaty hunters are off to another modest start to the dagwaagin (fall) hunt- ing season. Through the first eight weeks ending October 31, Ojibwe hunters registered 494 white-tailed deer and 43 black bears. At the same time last year, tribal members had brought in 502 deer and 40 bears, known as makwag in the Ojibwe language. Registrationstationsaresituatedwithinreservationcommunitiesfromeast- central Minnesota across northern Wisconsin to Lac Vieux Desert, Michigan. ThebulkofthetreatywhitetailharvesttypicallyoccursinNovemberaroundthe same time states conduct gun seasons. —CO Rasmussen Fur market still low for most species While tribal members who trap for cultural and ceremonial purposes may take little notice, trappers who sell their furs at auction are facing another disap- pointing year in 2017, with fur prices remaining low for most species. At the spring North American Fur Auctions, raccoon furs sold for $2-$6 and beaver furs sold for $6-$8. What is causing such low prices? The main markets of Russia and China are both facing political and economical issues. Russia’s economy is stressed by falling oil prices and the falling value of the Russian dollar. China is reported to have leftover inventory from last year, resulting in less demand this year. With both of these countries working to resolve issues that may take time, trappers may have to brace themselves for another season of prices that drop below the cost of production. —Paula Maday The meeting started with songs at the GLIFWC drum and a pipe ceremony. Much of the discussion was focused on the nature of the tribes’ treaty rights and how state and federal agencies must meet certain standards if they wish to limit the exercise of those rights. Tribal representatives also shared about the hunting methods they were interested in using. Several times during the meeting, Service representatives commented that they appreciated the opportunity to understand more about the tribes’ perspective. The meeting concluded with a commitment to continue the conversation and a traveling song, offered for the Service staff members who would be traveling home to the Twin Cities and the Washington D.C. areas. GLIFWC will be submitting a proposal on behalf of its member tribes on or about December 1, 2016. Generally, the Service publishes proposed regulations for tribal migratory bird hunting seasons in the spring, with a goal of publishing a final rule by early summer. Migratory bird regs (continued from page 2) Bay Mills ladies lead off omashkooz hunt With a clean shot on a Michigan elk August 30, Kendra Carrick kicked off the 2016 treaty season in the Michigan 1836 Ceded Territory. Fourteen-year-old Carrick of Bay Mills Indian Community filled one of four elk (omashkooz) tags issued by tribal wildlife authorities through a drawing. Carrick hunted with her father Justin on state land in southern Cheboygan County. After four days of extensive scouting, the pair zeroed in on one of the many state-managed plots that contain standing corn and other crops. There, Carrick found her elk around 10 minutes after legal shooting hours opened. Another female from Bay Mills harvested an elk in the early season, this one a 3X4 bull. Bay Mills hunters have two remaining cow elk tags good for upcoming seasons in mid-to-late December. This year marks the 10th consecutive tribal elk hunt since 1836 Treaty bands negotiated the 2007 Consent Decree. —CO Rasmussen In a move that both surprised and dismayed Ojibwe bands early last August, Minnesota Governor Mark Dayton ordered that catch-and-release walleye angling continue on Lake Mille Lacs even as the state exceeded its 28,600-pound quota. “The State of Minnesota has broken its agreement on the ogaa (walleye) harvest for the second year in a row and has asked us for our understanding,” said Melanie Benjamin, chief executive of the Mille Lacs Band of Ojibwe. “As responsible stewards of the resource and out of concern for ogaa the Bands have remainedunderourallocation.”Underatightlyregulatedmonitoringsystem,Ojibwe bands have never exceeded their share of the walleye harvest on Mille Lacs Lake. By mid-September last fall, the Department of Natural Resources estimated that state anglers had blown through their quota by nearly 20,000-pounds. The walleye season was formally closed on September 6, the day after Labor Day. The state’s actions are especially troubling to 1837 Treaty tribes since the Mille Lacs walleye population experienced a marked downturn over the past several years. While some observers blamed the use of gill nets to harvest part of the tribe’s allocation, biologists from the state, tribes, and a blue ribbon panel of North American walleye experts, all agree that netting is an unlikely cause for the decline. —CO Rasmussen Outside the Bureau of Indian Affairs Great Lakes Agency in Ashland, Wisconsin, people gathered to pay respects to Beartown Firefighters, Alan J. Swartz and James F. Shelifoe, who were killed in a highway crash just north of the Twin Cities. A mile-long procession of regional fire engines and emergency vehicles escorted the two back home to Keweenaw Bay Indian Community, where Beartown Firefighters is based. Emergency services officers from the Mille Lacs Band of Ojibwe worked with other Minnesota-based colleagues in making arrangements for the appropriate return of the bodies. The Beartown crew was traveling to Utah to help fight the Box Canyon Fire when the crash occurred August 27. Keweenaw Bay Indian Community and surrounding towns held a candlelight vigil for the firefighters September 2 at the Sand Point Lighthouse. —CO Rasmussen Mille Lacs Band responds to state ogaa overage PAGE 3 MAZINA’IGAN WINTER 2016-17