MAZINA’IGAN PAGE 8 WINTER 2018-2019 • TRAPPING WORKSHOP • By Paula Maday, Staff Writer Ashland, Wis.—About a year ago, Bad River Natural Resources Department held a meeting for public comment on revisions to the Bad River trapping code. Two of the comments received at the meeting indi- cated that not many tribal members were trapping anymore, and that there hadn’t been a trapper’s education course held in awhile. Post-meeting, Bad River Wildlife Specialist Lacey Hill-Kastern, along with Bad River Education Director Stephanie Julian, set out to change that. DevelopingpartnershipswithGLIFWC,RedCliff,WisconsinDepart- ment of Natural Resources, Association of Fish and Wildlife Agencies, Wisconsin Trappers Association and numerous local trappers and volun- teers,BadRiverdevelopedafour-daycourseaimedatprovidinginstruction in trapping culture and traditional and modern trapping methods, as well as Ojibwe treaty rights, traditional lifeways and cultural practices. This unique course was open to both tribal and non-tribal members, part of an effort to share tribal perspectives with a broader community audience. On October 10 the course debuted with a waiting list, as participants gathered at the DNR Service Center inAshland to begin their learning and prepare for their certification test at the end of the course. The first day’s agenda introduced students to the tools of the trade, trap identification, equipment preparation, Ojibwe treaty rights, history of trapping, and information on the Madeline Island fur trade, presented by Keldi Merton from the Madeline Island Museum. Two days later, on October 12, the group came back together for trap setting demonstrations and actual trap setting. They also covered furbearer identifica- tion, habits, and habitats; trapping communication; skull preparation; and rules, regulations, and incidental catch—a cooperative presentation by Lynna Martin of the Wisconsin DNR and Christina Dzwonkowski-Burns of GLIFWC. Rules and regulations covered on-reservation, off-reservation, and Ceded Territory areas. Saturday, October 14 focused on cubbies and body grip sets, as well as cable restraints. This instruction was followed by fur handling demonstrations, wherein students were able to learn and try their hand at open skinning (beaver), case skin- ning (fox, raccoon, mink), beaver fleshing, fox, raccoon, and mink fleshing, and muskrat handling, start-to-finish. After lunch, students settled in for some time with Jon Gilbert, GLIFWC DirectorofBiologicalServices,tolearnaboutTrappingBestManagementPractices (BMPs), ethics, and treaty rights. Following Gilbert, Bad River Tribal Historic Preservation Officer Edith Leoso shared information on the Ojibwe cultural sig- nificance of wildlife via stories and cultural items. Students finished out the day with their practical trap setting and test. Sunday—though an optional day—was attended by 14 out of 16 students. Topics for the day included extended safety discussions, such as ice safety, disease, and conibear safety. Students were also able to bank more hands-on time practicing trap setting and skinning, fleshing, and tanning various furbearers. Hill-Kasternsaysthereisenoughinterestanddemonstratedneedforthecourse that they have begun planning for next year. Cooperative efforts helped to make the course a success in its initial run. These efforts included: a donation from an anonymous donor that covered the registration fee for all students, transportation provided by Bad River for youth that needed it to attend the course; financial and equipment support received from the Association of Fish and Wildlife Agencies and the Wisconsin Cooperative Trapper Education Program; donation of traps so that each student could take one home; and credits offered from Ashland High School for students that participated in the course. All in all, the course was a unique, interdisciplinary learning experience for trappers and a true exercise in cooperative education and management by our natural resource stewards. Ojibwe trapping words wanii’igan: a trap wanii’ige-mazina’igan: a trapping license naajiwanii’ige: s/he goes to get the traps, goes to check the traps giitaabikin: remove from a trap From 1790-1830, the value for food, goods, and services was often expressed in beaver skins. Here is what you could expect to pay or receive in beaver skins for the following items during that time period: 1 25-ft. canoe 20 Guiding traders to another post 11 100 whitefish 7 15 pounds of bear grease 4 1 sack of wild rice 2-5 1 trap 5 1 package of white beads 4 1 pound of gun powder 1 For comparison, during the 2018 North American Fur Auction, the average price for beaver from the Eastern section, which includes Wisconsin, was $10.46 per pelt. Sources:ResearchfilesattheMadelineIslandMuseum;www.nafa. ca/wp-content/uploads/2018/03/Wildfur-Feb-2018-reports-prices.pdf Ojibwe trapper ed course debuts in the northwoods Retired DNR Furbearer Specialist John Olson demonstrates how to use cable restraints for trapping. (P. Maday photo) Participants of the 2018 Trapper Education Course included youth, adults, tribal and non-tribal members from around the Ceded Territory. In total, 16 students were certified through the course, which incorporated Ojibwe cultural perspectives, treaty information, and tribal trapping regulations into the course curriculum. (P. Maday photo) Ethan Rossing prepares to skin amik (beaver). (P. Maday photo)