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• ORAL HISTORY PROJECT/STAMP SANDS • Stamp sands threat comes into focus along the Keweenaw Gay, Mich.—Representatives from the Keweenaw Bay Indian Community, GLIFWC, Environmental Protection Agency, Army Corps of Engineers, and Michigan Technological University met October 19th to view a massive deposit of stamp sands first hand. This multi-agency collaboration developed over the past fifteen years to address a common concern: the movement of toxic stamp sands into Gichigami, along the shoreline and onto nearby Buffalo Reef. Stamp sands or tailings, are a byproduct of giant steam-driven stamps, which crushed mined rock so that copper could be extracted. Nearly 27 million metric tons of stamp sands were deposited by mining companies along the Lake Superior shoreline and in the water at Gay during the course of the mining era in the early 1900s. Buffalo Reef is one of three major spawning reefs for chinamegos (lake trout) and adikameg (lake whitefish) in management unit MI4 on the east side of the Keweenaw Peninsula.An extensive restoration effort occurred here between 1967 and 1994 when 1.5 million lake trout were stocked. Currently, lake trout spawning abundance on Buffalo Reef averages 15,000 fish annually. Lake whitefish also spawn on the reef. GLIFWC staff annually monitor juvenile lake whitefish by using beach seins to sample the shoreline adjacent to Buffalo Reef. While virtually no fish are found over stamp sands, juvenile lake whitefish and other fish were often found along the natural sand shoreline. Over the past four years however, juvenile lake whitefish have been absent from all areas near Buffalo Reef, a disconcerting finding. MovementofstampsandsontoBuffaloReefwerefirstbroughttotheattention of GLIFWC staff by a commercial fisherman who fishes in the area where tribal members maintain a commercial lake whitefish and lake trout fishery. Harvest of these fish is important—culturally and economically—for tribal members who, with the support of GLIFWC planners, promote and market Lake Superior fish and the health benefits of traditional foods. Loss of fish production at Buffalo Reef is likely if nothing is done. Stamp sands will continue to cover and fill in spaces between rocks on the reef needed for successful spawning. This would mean a loss of genetic diversity as lake trout are reef-specific spawning fish, returning to the same reef to spawn year after year, and this would adversely affect the local economy as both lake trout and lake whitefish hatched from the reef contribute to the lake’s fishery. The collaborative group met on the Michigan Technological University cam- pus in Houghton following the field trip to discuss possible avenues for cleanup and containment of the stamp sands. Esteban Chiriboga, GLIFWC environmental specialist presented to the group on the environmental impacts of stamp sands. “The level of engagement on this issue from the agencies is encouraging,” Chiriboga said. “They have a good understanding of the importance of Buffalo Reef to the tribes and have committed to continue working toward a permanent solution to the stamp sand contamination in the area.” By Bill Mattes, GLIFWC Great Lakes Section Leader A massive dune of fine-grain stamp stands lies in between Gay, Michigan and Lake Superior on the east side of the Keweenaw Peninsula. The product of historic copper mining operations, stamp sands continue to migrate along near shore areas of Gichigami and threaten a major spawning reef used by lake trout and whitefish. (Amanda Plucinski photo) Collecting Stories Documentation Project underway in LdF Lac du Flambeau, Wis.—This past August, the Lac du Flambeau (LdF) Tribal Historic Preserva- tion Office (THPO) launched the Collecting Stories Documentation Project, an oral history project aimed at capturing the life stories of community members. The project is training 20-30 people as interview- ers and aims to collect 200 interviews over the course of one year. “We want to see the reservation through the eyes of the people who live here,” says Cynthia Stiles, tribal archeologist. The project is supported by a grant from the Cul- tural Resource Fund, which according to its website, “supports tribal and state cultural and historic pres- ervation projects for eligible grantees.” The Cultural ResourceFundwascreatedbytheFederalCommunica- tions Commission and seven Class I freight railroads involved in the construction of Positive Train Control (PTC) poles. Because the railroads did not undergo legally required environmental and historic preservation review before raising poles prior to 2013, the railroads agreed to provide ten million dollars in grants to tribal and state historic preservation offices for use in cul- tural and historic preservation projects. LdF received a Phase I grant through the Cultural Resource Fund forconservationofboardingschoolclothing.TheCol- lecting Stories Documentation Project was awarded through a Phase II grant. The grant is a shared responsibility between the LdF THPO and the George W. Brown, Jr. Ojibwe MuseumandCulturalCenter.TheTHPOisresponsible fortrainingcommunitymembersasinterviewers,who then go out and collect stories from other community members. The museum is responsible for archiving the recorded interviews so that descendants can hear their family members and other community members talking about their lives, years down the road. To train interviewers, the THPO has organized a series of four-hour training sessions. Each interviewer only needs to complete one training session to be cer- tified. The training session provides the interviewer with an introduction to project planning, interview preparation, and interviewing techniques. It also covers instruction in the use of recording equipment, which interviewers are able to borrow to complete their interviews. The THPO will continue to work with interviewers after the initial session to conduct historical research, craft questions, and practice inter- viewing skills. So far, 10 people have been trained and two inter- views have been collected. Stiles said that the training is not limited to LdF tribal members. “I have sent information about our project to all THPOsinthestate,andwehavealreadytrainedpeople from the Lac du Flambeau, Bad River, and Sokaogon communities,” said Stiles. “But we are hoping to get morelocaltribalmemberswhoareinterestedandwant to participate.” Because of limited equipment, interviewers from other tribes are not able to borrow the recording packs utilized by LdF to record interviews, and archive of the interview would need to be arranged with the interviewer’s home THPO. One of the topics that Stiles pays particular atten- tion to during the training session is how to make the interviewee feel comfortable: “They are giving a part of themselves to the future, so we want to be very respectful to them,” she says. “It is important to allow the interviewees to talk and to recognize the gift of what they have given you,” she said. Ifyouareinterestedinlearningmoreorinsigning up to be trained as an interviewer through the Col- lecting Stories Documentation Project, please contact Project Coordinator LaurenAbel at (715) 588-4447 or By Paula Maday, Staff Writer Bad River tribal member Christy Jackson pays close attention as Cynthia Stiles, LdF Tribal Archeolo- gist, demonstrates how to use recording equipment during the Oral History Interview Workshop held on October 13, 2016. (Paula Maday photo) PAGE 9 MAZINA’IGAN WINTER 2016-17