December 5, 2018


Our community has many things to be grateful for as we move into the storytelling time of the year.

The month of December ushers in the Winter and the quiet months of introspection. From loving memories of family and friends who have walked on, to the excitement of our children as we approach the community Christmas gathering and the Winter Round Dance, this is a great time to reflect on the good things in our lives.

The Tribal Council is working on the coming year's Indian Housing Plan, a revamp to our Casino Gaming Complex, Property Tax Litigation, and a coming battle to remove Enbridge pipelines from our lands and waters. We are also creating more opportunities for Tribal Membership to provide input and service working for the betterment of our community. As examples, the new Housing Board made up of council members and citizens, is busy serving Tribal housing residents and we are also currently searching for Tribal members to be on a planning committee for the Madeline Island Tribal Properties. We are stronger together!

As you read through this week's e-newsletter, you'll find educational opportunities for adults and youth; you'll see our community gathering together to make and share treats and celebrate the seasons. We hope you see an event that suits you!

As a reminder, the December regular Tribal Council meeting will be held today at 4:30 pm at the Bad River Convention Center.

We wish you a warm and blessed day!

Scroll down to see what's happening in the Mashkiiziibii community.
Tribe Signs MOU with Department of Public Instruction
The Bad River Tribal Council and members of the community welcomed State Superintendent and Governor-Elect, Tony Evers, to Bad River on Monday, December 3rd, for the signing of a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU).

The MOU clarifies the relationship between the Tribe and Wisconsin Department of Public Instruction (DPI) to establish a common understanding regarding their roles, responsibilities and procedures that will facilitate best practices between them.

The DPI recognizes the sovereign authority of each of the 11 federally recognized American Indian Nations in Wisconsin. The importance of collaboration and partnership through formal government-to-government relationships ensures Wisconsin's American Indian students have the resources they need to become college and career ready.

Chairman Wiggins welcomed everyone and began by thanking David Connor for his work in education. The Chairman also acknowledged Bad River Elders like Nigig O'Connor and others as he moved on to acknowledge the Ashland School District, Superintendent Erik Olson, school board members, and the staff in attendance. "School District attendance and visits to Bad River have been improving consistently and I want to say thank you," Chairman Wiggins said.

All Tribal Council Members were in attendance; Councilman Dylan Jennings on Drum; Etta Burns, Treasurer; Barb Smart, Senior Council; Mike Berlin, Vice Chair; newly elected Secretary Jay McFee and Milisa Corbine, Council Member.

"The Council has been working diligently and tirelessly on a broad spectrum of concerns and issues for our Tribe including litigation, business development, social services, and supporting and caring for our Tribal Members," Chairman Wiggins said.

Councilman Dylan Jennings opened the ceremony with a prayer and the youth drum group sang a welcome song. Nate Ante, Dan, Martin, Jerome Powless, John Teller and Jennings sang with an amazing group of Bad River boys and girls. Afterwards Chairman Wiggins commented, "The Bad River youth who sang on the drum and the dancing of Preston Oja were the real highlights of the day! Amazing gifts of song and dance for the community!"

As Superintendent Evers moved to the podium, the crowd welcomed him with a round of applause.

"It's a real honor for me to be here today, both as State Superintendent and Governor-Elect for the State of Wisconsin. Clearly all the Tribal Nations in the state play a huge role in our success, whether it's independently or together. I think it's easier to do it together, and it's our hope to establish more types of the MOU we're signing today," said Superintendent Evers.

"I feel very strongly that one of the strengths of this state is the sovereignty of the 11 Indian Nations in the state of Wisconsin. We're fortunate to have that here. We're fortunate for several reasons, but most of all I believe the sovereignty of the Indian Nations in the State of Wisconsin makes us all stronger as long as we continue to collaborate and cooperate on all sorts of issues. My pledge to you is this: as Governor I will be working very hard to make sure this type of collaboration occurs all across state government. When we do that, we will be stronger as a state. Thank you so much for inviting me today," Superintendent Evers continued.

Chairman Wiggins offered his thoughts on the gathering, "Coming today to sign the MOU with Superintendent Evers, and looking at the goals, and putting the promise and integrity on paper that we need to push education forward for our children was incredibly exciting and humbling. I thought about my educational journey, way back to Head Start with Mrs. Fectau and other staff, and how much of their love, care and support I remember to this day. It speaks to the importance of the relationship and the integrity of that interaction between teachers and students. I also thought about things that have stayed with me in discussions with my family and my grandparents."

Chairman Wiggins shared a story about his grandmother's penmanship award and the fact that she did not have a chance to go to High School because she was needed at home. He noted that our Elders didn't always have educational choices and opportunities because times were different back then. He recalled he used his grandmother's story for motivation and never took educational opportunities for granted.

"Today's MOU, and in the big picture when I think about our kids and their choices to be around the Bad River Drum, they're choosing to do good. Their ability to choose, and that gift of manifesting their own reality, is wide open and available for our children. Having Superintendent Evers and the Ashland School staff here, the work of David and Act 31, speaks to trying to broaden that horizon and improve the field so our kids can do better, and feel supported and loved through their educational experience. All of that is exemplified today."

Preston Oja, Bad River Warrior and an active dancer in the community, then proceeded to amaze everyone with a beautiful Hoop Dance. Led by the singing and drumming of the youth on the drum, Preston danced and brought forth beautiful imagery with the hoops. In the audience was Preston's family including Anna Lee Spencer, Sister; Amber Heggie, Mother; Jean Neveaux, Great Grandmother; and Renee Oja, Grandmother.

Snacks and refreshments were served, and everyone had a chance to gather and share time as the event concluded.
Food Sovereignty Program Starts the Holiday Cheer

Loretta Livingston and Joy Schelble at the Food Sovereignty Program started holiday celebrations last week by hosting Christmas Candy and Cookie Making workshops. Assisting with the workshops was Gail Soulier, a Bad River community member who shared her family recipes with the attendees.

Loretta said while they usually keep their workshops more on the healthier side, these two workshops were a special occasion for the holidays.

"We have different people come to our different events," Loretta said. "And we don't always have the same people coming to every event, and more keep coming. It's good to see the community engaged and coming to learn."

After the first workshop, Loretta and Joy served up a meal made from things grown at the Food Sovereignty Building. The Okosimaan Naaboob, (squash soup) featured zhiigaagawanzh (onion), okosimaan (squash), aniibiish (kale), mashkodesiminag (beans) and chicken grown (with love) right at the property. There was also plenty of tea available to drink from tea plants grown on site. The tea, made from spearmint, lemon balm and stevia, was a warm, sweet treat on the cold Thursday afternoon.

Attendees made delicious cookies and candies, from traditional favorites like gingerbread and caramel corn to Gail's Date Krispies, a sweet and crunchy take on the classic rice crispy.

As the year starts to wrap up, Loretta looked back on the great things they did this year with the program. She said she sees food sovereignty as a way to restore health and is grateful for Joy's work in involving the young people in the program as well.

Loretta also said that while the year is almost done and they're not in a growing season, there's still a lot more work to be done, including processing the food and teas they've grown and planning future workshops.

"We've been awarded a grant that will allow funding for workshops for the next two years," Loretta said.

The next Food Sovereignty workshop will teach attendees how to make tamales and will be held Tuesday, December 11th. For more information, contact Loretta at 715-685-7840, ext 1611, or Joy at 715-681-0573.
THPO Working to Preserve Our Culture

The Bad River Tribal Historic Preservation Office has been extra busy this year. Tribal Historic Preservation Officer E
dith Leoso, Niigaanii Gaabo Wii Kwe - the woman who stands in front of others as to lead them - was able to spare a few minutes to share information on her office and upcoming projects.

Tribal Historic Preservation Officers work to ensure federal agencies are in compliance of Section 106 of the National Historic Preservation Act. Section 106 of the Act requires that federal agencies consult with Tribal Historic Preservation Offices for projects that may adversely affect historic properties or cultural resources that are significant to Tribes.

The preservation of cultural resources was important to her, "because it is part of our identity, our past and our future as well," Edith said. "We've already lost a lot. It was taken away from us and kept from us. In our language we've lost a lot. We've lost a way of thinking. We can't think like they did a long time ago because we don't know that language anymore. That language can define a person. You have to think like the language is. In historic preservation, it's important that we preserve as much as we can right now and maintain that as much as we can in the future. Always look for those pieces that were left on the side of the road for us."

In addition to Section 106 compliance, Edith also works to provide educational and cultural opportunities for her community.

She recently finished working with a cohort from the University of Michigan to review and provide an assessment on potential non-economic loss and damage from climate change. The project aimed to see the effects of climate change on cultural resources such as birch bark trees, wild rice, walleye and others.

Another part of the project included interviewing Elders of the community to see how they would feel if those important things were lost. The assessment would also weigh how heavily families would be affected by their inability to supplement food for winter such as deer, fish, and berries, and how families would be affected by their inability to harvest and sell wild rice.
The project was an eye-opening experience for members of the community.  Edith said climate change is something that we should keep an eye on and work actively to prepare ourselves for the possible loss of these cultural resources, and try to prevent from happening.

The Bad River, Lac du Flambeau and Red Cliff Tribal Historic Preservation Offices have been collaborating on a Traditional Ecological Knowledge project to gather information about the history and importance of the Apostle Islands. Bad River's office has been interviewing members of the community, particularly Elders, for the past seven years as part of this project. Edith is currently researching how to store the information gathered from the project.

When looking at her department, Edith believes that one of the most important things they do is providing educational opportunities for the youth. This includes contributing to the Tribe's seasonal cultural camps that are held in the spring, fall, and winter. These camps are designed to revitalize different practices that are essential to the continuity of Tribal culture. The winter cultural camp will be held on February 9, 2019, followed by Round Dance.

If you would like more information on the Bad River Tribal Historic Preservation Office and their activities, feel free to contact Edith at 715-682-7123, ext. 1662.

Chi Miigwech Edith for taking the time to share all of your accomplishments, and for your dedication to cultural preservation!
Sharing the Native Spirit
By: Joel Waldinger, Wisconsin Public Television "Wisconsin Life"

You'll find Dylan Jennings out in the woods in all seasons. Hunting and gathering the way his ancestors did centuries before him. He speaks of nature being a powerful place and it's this sense of place that has grounded Jennings.

We caught up with him during sugarbush or in his native language Iskigamizigewin. That's maple syrup season in Ashland County. Jennings is a member of the Bad River Band of Lake Superior Anishinaabe.

As a twenty-something, Jennings is very aware of where his people have been and it's those lessons from the past that carry him forward. The reservation near Odanah, Wisconsin was created in the Treaty of 1854. The majority of the reservation is on the south shore of Gichigami or Lake Superior. It's a special place for Jennings. "My spirit gravitated towards this place because of the spiritual power that these homelands have for us as Anishinaabeg," says Jennings.

Preserving and protecting the indigenous language is also important to his way of life. It's a language the Tribe is trying to resurrect. According to Jennings, there are approximately only 20 first language speakers left in Wisconsin. With his firstborn daughter Jennings speaks as much Ojibwe as he possibly can so she grows up understanding and comprehending the language.

Passed down through the generations, language, culture and ancient traditions go hand-in-hand. Jennings took up the art of drum making as a little kid. Today Jennings and his drums travel all over the world. There is an Ojibwe proverb that Jennings strongly believes: You take care of the drum and the drum will take care of you. For him, it's a very true statement. Taking care of the drum is both sacred and ceremonial. People recognize that drum as being the heartbeat of Mother Earth and the power that it brings to ceremonies and communities.

In addition to being on the Tribal Council, Jennings works for the Great Lakes Fish and Wildlife Commission education young and old alike. He sees his job as an educator as the nexus to eliminating stereotypes, to eliminating misconceptions about indigenous people and to help move forward in a better, more productive society.
Town of Sanborn Meeting - December 6th

On Thursday, December 6th, the Town of Sanborn will vote on a matter that has direct implications for Bad River.

The Board will be voting to give approval to transfer the last of coastal wetland properties (the Slough properties) into the Tribe's hands at an appraised value.

"We are hoping to purchase almost 50 more acres of coastal wetland habitat from the Town of Sanborn. This purchase is part of our Kakagon Sloughs land acquisition grant from the EPA through the Great Lakes Restoration Initiative. The goal of this project is to enhance protections of our Lake Superior coastal wetlands. The Kakagon/Bad River Sloughs complex comprises 13% of all the coastal wetlands in the entire Lake Superior basin," said Chairman Mike Wiggins.

A total of 334.23 acres have been purchased from landowners since June 2018. The total acreage that the Tribe is still in the process of buying is 267.1. When the buyback is complete, we will have purchased 601.33 acres.

The Town of Sanborn parcels we are currently targeting are shown on the map below.

Residents of the town are encouraged to contact their elected officials to support this purchase. A list of town officials may be viewed here.
Community Holiday Gathering This Saturday

Head Start Has Openings

The Head Start program has several openings for any child who is currently 3 years old.

If anyone is interested please contact the Head Start at 715-682-7144.
Community Information
Tribal Council Meetings

All Regular Tribal Council Meetings are held at
the Bad River Convention Center at 4:30 pm.
December 5, 2018

All Special Tribal Council Meetings are held at
the Bad River Convention Center at 4:30 pm.
 December 18, 2018
Tribes Sue Wisconsin over Taxation of Indian Lands

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A case has brought by the Lac du Flambeau Band of Lake Superior Chippewa Indians, along with the other 1854 Wisconsin Tribes including Bad River, Lac Courte Oreilles and Red Cliff, against Governor Walker, the Revenue Secretary, and several townships for the illegal assessment of property taxes against fee lands owned by the Tribes within the exterior boundaries of their respective reservations.  

This was filed in the western district United States Federal District Court in Madison, Wisconsin.  View court documents here.
Serve on the Madeline Island Planning Committee

Clinic Will Be Closed December 14th

New Mail Boxes for Birch Hill Residents

WIC for December

Comments Sought on Proposed Work by Northern Natural Gas - Deadline is December 16th

Harvest Birch and Cedar Trees

Public Notice - WQS Wiggins Timber Harvest Project
EMTs Needed - Classes Begin in January

Social Security Video Service

Contraceptives  Available

Win at Math Tutoring!

Tribal Bar Exam - December 12th

Notice for Snowplowing Private Driveways
Vehicle Registration and Titling
Positive Affirmations in Ojibwemowin

Bad River Veterans Memorial Fundraiser

There has been an effort under way to develop a Bad River Veterans Memorial at the cemetery near the Veterans Pavilion.

Community members can help fund this effort by buying a brick to be included in the paving of the memorial. 

The goal is to raise enough money through this campaign to follow through with the developments to enhance the Veterans Pavilion area. Click here to learn more .

"It becomes a community effort to make this happen," Edith Leoso, Bad River Tribal Historic Preservation Officer, shared. "It will become aesthetically pleasing for our Veterans and community members to come enjoy and reflect and will also be handicap accessible." 

The end date of the fundraiser remains open and available for people to get involved in raising funds for the memorial.   Click here to buy a brick .
Refer a Friend Internet Promotion

LCO College Updates
LCO College Open House - December 14th

Ready to Start or Expand Your Business?
Community Events
Beading Circle - Wednesdays

Birth to Five Christmas Dinner & Bingo - December 7th

Holiday Cake Wars Contest Deadline is December 8th

Food Sovereignty Dine & Learn - December 11th

Language Table - December 18th

4th Annual Holiday Hoops - December 27th

Save the Date
Bibooni-Gabeshiwin Winter Camp - February 9th

Wellbriety Round Dance - February 9th

Sponsorship Opportunities Available!

Natural Resources Department Open House - March 27th

Employment Opportunities
Tribal Employment Opportunities

Mashkisibi Boys & Girls Club

One full-time Unit Coordinator position - Applicant will work with and relate to youth aged 5-18, day and evening hours. Must have some post-secondary education related to youth programming, have a valid driver's license and submit to a criminal background check. Call 715-685-9489 for an application.

One part-time Program Aide position - Applicant will work with and relate to youth aged 5-18, afternoon and evening hours. Must have a high school diploma or equivalent and a valid driver's license. Must submit to a criminal background check. Call 715-685-9489 for an application.
2020 Census Jobs

Share Your News

Share your good news with the community!

The e-newsletter is sent every other Wednesday.

Email your information and story ideas, and please include your contact information so that we can follow up with you.   Please include a photo if possible.

Chi Miigwech!

Kim Swisher, Adam VanZile and Daleth Mountjoy
Tribal Communications
Office:  715-437-0090

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