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LVD MANOOMIN Running through red lights Protection for Rice Bay achieved By Sue Erickson Staff Writer Lac Vieux Desert Mich.Elated by the news last December that Rice Bay had finally been listed by the National Park Service NPS as aTraditional Cultural Property TCP Giiwegiizhigookway Martin accidentally whipped right through a red light in Eagle River Wisconsin. Elation and disbeliefthe designation culminated five years of running through bureaucratic red lights for Martin although the arrival of help at critical junctions during the process was also uncanny. Martin who serves as the Getegitigaaning Ojibwe Nation THPOLac Vieux Desert LVD in Michigan has been in the forefront of the Bands efforts to restore once flourishing beds of manoomin which have provided sustenance to Band members over generations. Rice Bay located by LVDs Old Village which was established in 1784 as a seasonal village known as Getegitigaaning is about one-quarter mile in area in the far northeastern reaches of Lac Vieux Desert Lake owned jointly by the Band and US Forest Service FS. Once reported as thick flourishing and vast the manoomin beds have deteriorated over the years and remain vulnerable to water level fluctuations by a dam operated by the Wisconsin Valley Improvement Com- pany. Constructed in 1937 the dams raised water levels came close to destroying manoomin beds in the lake by the end of the Twentieth Century. Other pressures such as recreational boating or intentional destruction also played a role in the decline of manoomin. Restoration efforts on the part of stakeholders including the LVD Band GLIFWC and others succeeded in negotiating water levels more favorable to manoomin and launched successful reseeding efforts. When Martin first became aware of the TCP designation she felt it would be a perfect fit for the Rice Bay site and would help protect its integrity in the future. A Traditional Cultural Property is defined by the NPS as a property that is eligibleforinclusionintheNationalRegisterofHistoricPlacesbasedonitsassocia- tions with the cultural practices traditions beliefs lifeways arts crafts or social institutions of a living community. TCPs are rooted in a traditional communitys history and are important in maintaining the continuing cultural identity of the community. A TCP designation will help preserve the site and require consulta- tion with the affected traditional community for federally assisted projects that may affect the community. While Martin thought it was a good fit she met with many red lights at the onseteven some coming from within the tribe. Some did not think Rice Bay could be listed as a TCP. This was different Martin says. Most nominations are for buildings or districts not located in water but I knew in my heart Rice Bay fit the criteria. Discouraged Martin was in her office one day when she received a phone call out of the blue. It was Timothy Boscarino an East Michigan University graduate student in need of a graduate project. He also worked as a planner for the city of Detroit. Did Martin have any suggestions for his project Well yes she did To nominate Rice Bay for a TCP listing would require considerable research research she did not have time to do. Boscarino ended up with a wonderful graduate project and Martin was gifted with much needed help. Giiwegiizhigookway Martin reseeding Lac Vieux Desert Lake in 1992 when the concern for the declining manoomin spurred restoration efforts. photo by MJ Kewley Rose Polar Martin comments The following is an excerpt from comments submitted by Rose Martin 92-year-old child of the rice about the significance of manoomin to the Lac Vieux Desert community. The wild rice I once knew I speak today only of the rice beds on our homelands and lake at our Old Village. My name is Rose Polar Martin. I am 90 years old. I was born and raised right near the rice beds at Ketegitigaaning. I was born during the Ricing Moon on the banks of the Wisconsin River. This is where my mother Minnie White Polar was ricing. I am therefore a child of the rice. Wild Rice is sacred to the Anishinaabe. It is the center of the traditional and cultural life to us. To lose the rice would be to lose a vital part of who we are. Ojibwe people believe in life as a cycle which begins and ends with mother earth. Wild rice is part of this cycle. Hundreds of years ago the wild rice was abundant in this area and no one had to worry about where their rice came from. And as long as we did things in a good way that Manoomin would be there for us. I am recalling through my memories the rice beds and the size of them and the amounts of rice produced in these beds.The beds were enormous. Now as you stand by the edge of our waters and look at the rice beds they look fragile and sick. The rice beds I knew as a little girl were strong healthy and thick. Our people came across those waters with their boats easily half full of rice. Many trips each day were made during the ricing season. The rice was plentiful and there was always enough rice for everyone living at the village. There were only a few times in my life when I saw the rice not produce and those were sometimes natural things such as bad weather during the ricing stages. I also know for a fact that my Dad Henry Polar Sr. tells me there was a time when the rice almost disappeared because of the dam. He also said that the waterfowl became less abundant the fur bearing animals were scarce and our cranberries completely disappeared. During all of the years I lived at the village I only remember a few times when ricing did not take place. This rice was our life. This food sustained us through the many winters of our lives. Many would have perished without it. I remember when rice is all we had to eat and it kept us alive. Boscarino went to work interviewing folks talking to elders visiting the rice beds. Leon Boycee Valliere talked about the traditional camps held there and the spiritual significance of manoomin and the act of ricing to the tribal members. Boscarinos research comprised the bulk of the nomination submission verifying the physical and spiritual connections of LVD to Rice Bay back to the 1700s. He identified historical documents that tied the LVD people to the rice Martin explains and my mother Rose now 92 who was born on the Wisconsin River while her mother was ricing provided firsthand knowledge of the rice beds and the impact of the dam. see comments below Many agencies refuse to recognize that manoomin is alive. To us it has a life. To us it is a gift. This was one of the processes to preserve this resource and this life says LVD Voigt Intertribal Task Force Representative Roger Labine. After two and a half years the nomination was submitted in December 2015. Martin received notice that the NPS thought it was a wonderful application and her hopes were high. But the red lights werent over. She received notice that they must provide a titled legal description but the Band couldnt locate the documents. Once again discouraged after all this work she contacted Troy Ferone USFS lead archeolo- gist who saw no reason why this TCP nomination shouldnt go through. Once again help was on its way. To expedite the matter Ferone wrote a letter verifying that the FS owned the other part of Rice Bay and stating the FS was in agreement with the nomination. Not long after on December 11 Martin was headed home from Lac du Flam- beau when she got the good wordLISTED and in her excitement whipped through that red light in Eagle River. She had accomplished a long-term goal probably with assistance from the Creator in the form of Boscarino and Ferone Martin advises Keep pushing if you really believe. Boscarino encourages other tribal communities to consider potential TCPs in their area. The National Register form that we submitted clearly establishes that Rice Bay meets the eligibility criteria so there will be no room for doubt in the future he states. Just as importantly however I would like to point out that just because this one site is listed it doesnt mean that there arent many more sites out there that are just as significant but havent gone through the formal listing process.All throughout the area around Getegitigaaning and in the CededTerritory as a whole are a great many sites significant to Anishinaabe heritage that would also likely meet the National Register eligibility criteria. With gifts from the Lac Vieux Desert Tribe in hand Rice Bay Traditional Cultural Property advocates react to an honor song from the GLIFWC deweigan at Lac Courte Oreilles on February 4. During the Voigt Intertribal Task Force meeting LVD representatives recognized Larry Heady Troy Ferone and Mary Rasmussen from the US Forest Service along with Timothy Boscarino who submitted the formal TCP for Rice Bay. photo by COR MAZINAIGAN PAGE 2 SPRING 2016