Jackson receives equivalent of Emmy award for historic preservation
DU FLAMBEAU, Wis. Tribal Historic Preservation Officer for
the Lac du Flambeau Band of Lake Superior Chippewa Indians, Kelly
Jackson was presented with the first Secretary of the Interior Historic
of the Interior Dirk Kempthorne presented the awards to four government
and tribal employees at the departments headquarters in Washington.
award program was created to recognize outstanding contributions
in the area of historic preservation by employees of Federal, State
and Tribal Preservation Offices and Certified Local Governments.
The Secretarys award focuses on individual accomplishments
instead of programs or projects.
me this award is really a reflection of the success and commitment
on the part of our community. In 1996 Lac du Flambeau was one of
the first 12 tribes to have a tribal historic preservation office,
Jackson said. Over the years our community has been able to
grow and build the program into a resource that has been used not
only by our tribe, but by other tribes in our region. I think of
this award as a milestone for this community as a whole and
of those community members who make historic preservation an important
element of our tribe.
a winner of the Secretarys award, Jackson was recognized for
her contributions, creativity and expertise which exemplified the
overall goals of the National Historic Preservation Act (NHPA).
in national efforts to enhance the relationship between tribes and
the U.S. government, she was an active panelist on the Preserve
America Summit held in New Orleans in October 2006 and helped write
a position paper on the best practices or a better approach
to working with tribes and making them a full partner in
the National Historic Preservation Program.
vice-chair of the Advisory Council on Historic Preservations
Native American Advisory Group, was honored in 2007 with the U.S.
Forest Services Connecting Citizens to the Land, Indigenous
Earth Walker Award. She received the award in recognition
of her assistance to the Forest Service in the acquisition of the
240-acre area known as Indian Farms by the Chequamegon-Nicolet National
Forest in northern Wisconsin.
also assisted Rebecca Maki, Lac du Flambeau tribal member, in the
development of a guide to help Indian country See the value
of building historic preservation programs and assume the functions
of the state and the jurisdictional benefits of assuming states
functions within the boundaries of reservations, she said.
The guide, published by the Great Lakes Indian Law Center, University
of Wisconsin Law School, is called What is Tribal Historic
Preservation, A Guide to Tribal Historic Preservation in Indian
also serves as the chief grant administrator for the Native American
Graves Repatriation Act and is active nationally in the Native American
Tribal Historic Preservation Officers organization as a board member
preservation seems like a dry word for what I do, she said.
I dont think what I do is about preserving something
old. This is really about protecting who we are as Native people,
continuing a life way and making sure resources are available for
anyone interested in learning more about where they come from and
passing that knowledge on from one generation to the next. I think
what has always motivated me in this work is the fact that in seven
generations my childrens children will continue to see the
value in our culture and teachings and will continue to pass
are mechanisms within the NHPA to allow tribes to have a direct
role in interpreting what is historically significant and important
to protect. I think the NHPA encourages agencies to engage with
tribes on a government-to-government basis. We have been battling
for centuries to protect burial sites and sacred places and I think
the NHPA gives us one of many tools to do that, said Jackson.
Probably the most frustrating part of the process has always
been the fact that tribes are constantly fighting agencies to protect
places of importance rather than engaging in dialog to be partners
in interpreting American history.
of the greatest things about preservation is that it is very diverse,
she said. Locally we are working on a wonderful project called
A Legacy of Survival. We are restoring one of the government
boarding school buildings in Lac du Flambeau. It was a boys
dormitory and was listed on the national register in 2005 as a nationally
is a challenging project because the boarding school era is an extremely
difficult era for many of us and yet we felt it was critical to
share the survival of history, tradition and culture despite
the governments attempt to eradicate native people and native connections
with cultural identity, she said.
restoration project is currently in the final design phase and includes
plans for an interpretative center, an archival storage facility
for research and records storage with temperature and humidity control,
and teaching traditional and cultural skills such as reed mat making,
ricing and other gathering activities.
first phase of the project is complete which was taking off
the modern influence in the building and bringing the property back
to it 1906 footprint. We are hoping to break ground for the restoration
project in early spring with a grand opening by summer.
continue to do review and compliance, perhaps not as beautiful as
a restoration project or an interpretative center, but it is the
foundation of these programs. So we continue to work with state,
federal and local agencies to ensure that historic places, sacred
sites and traditional cultural properties are considered and protected
as a matter of policy and procedure within our ceded lands,
information about the Secretary of the Interior Historic Preservation
Award can be found at: http://www.doi.gov/initiatives/preservation.html.