Oneida Tribe of Indians has been a leader in restoration and sustainability
of our natural resources. The Oneida people know their responsibilities
to take care of Mother Earth are not negotiable. These are inherent
duties we have been given by our Creator, and they have been passed
our ceremonies and in our philosophy, we teach our children to be
mindful of how important it is to understand that the significance
of our life begins and ends with our relationship with our environment.
our reservation, managing our resources in a cooperative manner
begins with our intergovernmental relationships. Because the Oneida
Reservation is enjoined with so many other governments, we have
worked to build an atmosphere of open communication, shared resources
and a vision for sustaining our environment for the next seven generations.
ancient agricultural practices still provide the Oneida community
with rich and fertile crops of our heirloom Oneida corn. This white
corn has sustained Oneida people for centuries and the use of our
corn to sustain ourselves was not limited to the nourishment of
this precious food, but also how we used the entire plant.
stalks were used for fire, and weaving. The corn silks and husks
were used for making dolls, braiding the corn for drying and also
for weaving rugs and moccasins. The use of this natural resource
is one example of how the Oneida people have utilized every resource
in a manner that maximized every facet of that resource to nourish,
protect and to sustain ourselves.
the Oneida Tribe established more recent environmental programs,
we looked to create a division that would embrace, promote and implement
our philosophy for our sustainability of the environment. We have
one of the most successful and responsible environmental programs
in the nation. The restoration work that has been done on our reservation
over the past several decades is phenomenal.
spring we were joined by Brown and Outagamie counties and the Wisconsin
Department of Natural Resources in releasing more than 5,000 trout
fingerlings into Trout Creek. For decades Trout Creek had been barren
of any trout; it was time to restore these waters and this environment.
Oneida is proud of this effort and the cooperation we experienced
working with the local counties and the state.
is one of the success stories we are happy to share. This success
gives the Oneida government the incentive to continue to move forward
in building partnerships that provide a hope for the future generations
to enjoy our natural resources.
the mission of the Oneida Environmental, Health and Safety Division
is to provide high quality services that protect and improve the
health of the human and natural environment, consistent with Oneida's
culture and vision. We strive to balance community, family and work.
"Tehassi" Hill Jr. is serving his first term on the Oneida
Nation's nine-member Business Committee
Trout Alive and Well in Trout Creek
by Doug Aloisi, US Fish & Wildlife
news coming from the fall fishery assessments on Trout Creek of
the Oneida Indian Reservation! Assessment results indicate good
growth and survival of the brook trout fingerlings stocked from
the Genoa National Fish Hatchery as 2.25 inch fingerlings this spring.
The fish have grown roughly .75 inches to 1.75 inches in length
this summer and this is very encouraging to see living proof that
the watershed is capable of sustaining brook trout again. The Trout
Creek watershed had many of its aquatic species reduced or eliminated
due to degrading water quality caused by inadequate manure storage
facilities in the upper watershed. Through action initiated by the
Oneida tribe and the Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources,
point source pollution was reduced and habitat rehabilitation efforts
were established. Brook trout were re-introduced according to the
Oneida Dept. of Natural Resources Trout Creek watershed management
plan, and the first of three year classes of brook trout were placed
in the Creek this spring. A strain of wild brook trout from Ash
Creek, Wisconsin was stocked to increase the chances that survival
would be high. Brook trout eggs were carefully screened for fish
pathogens by the LaCrosse (WI) Fish Health Center, and isolated
from other fish populations on the Genoa hatchery to reduce the
risk of disease. Human activity was also minimized during rearing
at the hatchery, to maintain startle responses of the fish and preserve
predator avoidance behavior after the fish were stocked. This cooperative
effort between the Green Bay National Fish and Wildlife Conservation
Office, the Genoa National Fish Hatchery, the Oneida tribe and the
Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources is a textbook example
of how conservation agencies can work together synergistically to
advance conservation efforts well into the future. Brook trout are
an excellent biological indicator of watershed health, and the presence
of live trout and the use of other watershed quality indices will
be used as tools to ensure that Trout Creek will have its namesake
as residents for generations to come.