Ojibwe Tribes of Wisconsin Seek Ultimate Sustainability

By KBJR News 1

April 26, 2013 Updated Apr 26, 2013 at 1:55 PM CDT


The Ojibwe tribes of Wisconsin are working towards becoming a more sovereign nation.

Lac Courte Oreilles Ojibwe Community College hosted it's Fifth annual sustainable living fair to move that process forward.

Booths lined the college auditorium while vendors coaxed fair attendees to stop by.

Businesses, farmers and community members all gathered for the same reason...to encourage a more sustainable way of life within the tribal communities.

"You can't be truly sovereign unless you can feed your own community. And I think that events like this is where it really starts. How do we begin to feed our community with the resources that we have," says Amber Marlow, a staff member at the college.

But each community member must do his part.

"Whether it's related to knowing where their food comes from to growing their own food, to using renewable energy. What ever small step they can do to move towards sustainability," says Marlow.

Walleye fishing limits have been a hot topic this spring with tribal declarations much higher than usual. Spear fishing is one of the major ways tribes look to obtain sustainability.

Jim St. Arnold of the Indian Fish & Wildlife Commision, shares his views on the matter.

"The economy has taken a dive and such with high unemployment, a lot of people out of jobs and such, they want to still feed their people."

St. Arnold speculated hardship as well as regulations may have contributed to the increase.

"NO matter what your quota is on your license, only one fish can be unlimited size. They are required to notify the DNR by March 15th which lakes they will be potentially spearing. March 15th up here a lot of lakes are still iced over."

Whether its spear fishing, livestock raising, or crop planting, most agree, sustainability is key.

Amber Marlow of Lac Courte Oreilles Ojibwe Community College says the community spends half its finances on energy and food.

Posted to the web by Gabrielle Ware