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Essential Ojibwemowin waawaashkeshiwayaandeer hide jiishaakwaiganhide scraper naazhiigaiganhide stretcher ISHPAAGOONIKAA Seeds of tribal youth leadership grow at Ishpaagoonikaa Cloquet Minn.Biboon. The world is tucked in under heavy snow and cold winds of the Giiwedin North. But all is not still. In Namebini-Giizis deer shed theirantlerserminesbecomeactiveandravensandbaldeaglesbeginnesting.And on February 5-7 thirty-four youth from ten tribes gathered for a flurry of winter activity at Ishpaagoonikaa Deep Snow Camp on the Fond du Lac reservation. This years camp was a partnership between GLIFWCs Law Enforcement Division and Fond du Lac Tribal and Community College Extensions 13 Moons Program. The goal of the camp was to increase knowledge and utilization of treaty rights in harvesting and protecting natural resources encouraging environmental stewardshipandpromotingnaturalresourcecareers.Activitiesincludedsnowshoe- ing fire making traditional and modern-day tip up for ice fishing winter shelter building outdoor survival tactics brain tanning storytelling and snow snake play and competition. The activities were designed for youth in grades 4-10. Michelle Homesky a 15-year old from St. Croix came to camp because of the variety of traditional Anishinaabe winter activities offered. Theres a lot I dont know she said. A major highlight in Homeskys freshman experience was learning about traditional brain tanning. I really like it she said. Not a lot of people know how to do it. For other participants Ishpaagoonikaa was a chance to reconnect and deepen relationships with friends from past winter camps and from the summer camp Onji-Akiing. GLIFWC Outreach Officer and Ishpaagoonikaa Program Director Heather Bliss said that while most first-time campers start out apprehensively about being in a new placeaway from their home reservation and away from the people they knowthe camp designs experiences to connect intertribal youth to one another and to use their initial discomfort in a positive way to help participants grow confidence and learn how to overcome challenges. Saagi Stark a Bad River tribal member has attended the camp since it first began and now serves as a junior counselor at 15. Ive made a lot of friends here over the years she said. I had fears when I started but the camp has helped me to overcome them. Joslyn Beaulieu from Red Cliff echoed Starks experience. I was really scared to come at first she said. But Ive made so many friends and because of the camp Ive gotten really into biology. Stark and Beaulieu along with Talon Defoe Red Cliff and Hunter Jaakola Fond du Lac served as junior counselors this year guiding younger participants in activities and ensuring respectful listening and participation. Its important for the kids to have peers they can relate to and model behavior after said Bliss. Additionally it gives our junior counselors more leadership and responsibility opportunities. Were trying to build that from youth through college to a career. These days many tribal people face the potential loss of their Anishinaabe identity as exposure to language culture and traditional activities dwindles in the face of modern conveniences technology and historical trauma. But initiatives suchasIshpaagoonikaafocusednotonlyonpassingalongtraditionalknowledge but also on planting and nurturing the seeds of tribal youth leadershipgive such hope that the next generation of Anishinaabe will blossom tall and strong even from beneath the frozen winter ground. By Paula Maday Staff Writer Michelle Homesky St. Croix experiences traditional hide tanning for the first time at Ishpaagoonikaa guided by Tom Howes Fond du Lac natural resource manager. photo by Paula Maday Junior Counselors Hunter Jaakola Talon Defoe Saagi Stark and Joslyn Beaulieu model leadership skills for younger camp participants. PM Wearing cold-water survival suits GLIFWC officers held annual ice rescue training and recertification on Chequamegon Bay February 16. Wardens from the Red Cliff Band also participated in the exercises. photo by COR PAGE 11 MAZINAIGANSPRING 2016 resources in a negative manner. Isham acknowledged the misunderstanding that exists today regarding declining fish populations and the exercise of treaty rights. Its no longer a matter of who is to harvest its a much more urgent matter to make sure that fish remain to be harvestable. Its biology that should direct these decisions not politics. Speakingofpoliticsthechairmanhighlightedbothpresentandpastrepresen- tatives who had obtained tribal support and endorsement remarking that current and prospective legislators and political figures need to spend more time in tribal communities and not just during election season. This would help to bridge the gap of misunderstanding that exists surrounding critical topics such as education and natural resources. The chairman of Lac Courte Oreilles highlighted many issues and concerns that have plagued Indian Country however he did offer some insight into the programs and cooperative relationships that have been working well. He talked about incarceration and the programs being implemented within these institutions that allow for inmates to receive schooling training and rehabilitation. Isham also spent time on the importance of language and culture. In a time when many communities are struggling to revitalize and regain fluent speakers and keepers of the language Lac Courte Oreilles serves as a beacon of hope. He gave a shout out to the programs and educational institutions that are thriving in the community especially the Ojibwe immersion school Waadookodaading. The chairman explained that many people are quick to be critical of the state of language and culture in every community. He smiled and said Bimaadiziiwin Ojibwemowin Our language is alive and well. Its not every day that a respectedAnishinaabe ogimaa addresses a room filled with state representatives. With the youth at his side the group representing Lac Courte Oreilles left the podium with a standing applause. Everyone in the room left knowing that Anishinaabeg beliefs and values are still here and we are paving the way for future generations. State of the Tribes addressContinued from page 1