MAZINA’IGAN PAGE 12 • MEMORANDUM OF UND Tribes, Forest Service accomplishments after Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) est Mille Lac Band Representative Kelly Applegate accepts a quilt from Regional Forester Kathleen Atkinson during a gift exchange. (CO Rasmussen photo) Wesley Ballinger, Mille Lacs Band artist, created this image to capture the spirit of LVD traditional roundhouse, a powerful symbol of cooperation By Charlie Otto Rasmussen, Editor Old IndianVillage, Mich.—At the annualTribal/Forest Service Memorandum ofUnderstanding(MOU)meeting,allpartiesagreedthatprotectingnaturalresources and honoring reserved Ojibwe treaty rights were positive results from two decades of rewarding and sometimes difficult interagency work. GLIFWC member bands and the US Forest Service reflected on the historic, twenty-year-old agreement that includes 11 Ojibwe tribes, four National Forests (Chequamegon-Nicolet, Hiawatha, Ottawa, and Huron-Manistee), federal Law Enforcement & Investigation, and the Northern Research Station. “We have learned to search for the common ground, identify shared goals and desired outcomes.” said Paul Strong, Forest Supervisor of Chequamegon-Nicolet National Forest and one of the original architects of the MOU. “Trust and respect are the foundation for successfully working together.” TheMOUsignatories,infact,weremeetinginabuildingthatembodiedonevery tangibleresultofthatcooperativespirit—theLacVieuxDeserttraditionalroundhouse. LVD tribal representatives first requested logs in 2002 to construct the roundhouse under an MOU provision that pledged 40,000 board feet of timber to tribes per year from cooperating National Forests. But the deal hit a snag. Clear legal authority to release the logs blocked regional Forest Service officials from moving forward. While the proposal went dormant for a few years, officials explored other options. Assembling the eight-sided structure would require 150 twenty-five-foot logs, 12 to 16 inches in diameter. Even larger logs measuring 20-24” around were needed to for the roof. Then in 2004, the Forest Service identified a means to see the project through by collaborating with the tribe on a Stewardship Contract; Lac Vieux Desert completed a watershed restoration project in exchange for the logs. The roundhouse became a reality. Over the following years, GLIFWC, the tribes, and Forest Service worked on the timber issue and ultimately came up with the first major amendment to the MOU, the “Tribal Timber Harvest Framework Agreement,” which lays out a step-by-step process for tribes to acquire live standing timber. “Whether it’s in discussions with county or state governments, I always point them to the Forest Service MOU as a model agreement with tribes,” said Michael J. Isham, GLIFWC executive administrator. “When you have an agreement, have it all spelled out, it cuts through the misunderstandings and really helps all parties work together.” Located at Old Indian Village on the north shore of Vieux Desert Lake, the Lac Vieux Desert traditional roundhouse is built from pine logs acquired through collaborative work with the US Forest Service. The eight-sided structure is made up of approximately 150 twenty-five foot logs, plus eight large, 20-25 inch diameter logs utilized for roof trusses. The federal and native signatories to the Tribal/Forest Service Memorandum of Understanding held their 20th annual meeting at the roundhouse October 3. (P. Strong photo)