Red Lake DNR Repatriates Several Lake Sites
Larry Stillday Does Ceremonies
On Friday, August 17, 2012, from 1 to 4 pm, the Red Lake DNR Water Resources Program invited tribal members to participate in the Appeasement Ceremonies for Lake Access Stabilization and Mud River Stream Restoration Projects.
The ceremonies were held for lake access stabilization, erosion control, and stream restoration work. The appeasement rituals were led by Spiritual Leader Larry Stillday. Two vans were made available for those who wanted to car pool.
Those participating moved from east to west, according to custom, starting at Blackduck River Lake access, then to the cut-off, then proceeded to the Fisheries, Mud River, McKenzie, and concluded at Hallet Landing near Little Rock.
Lake access work involves storm water control and stabilization of the access roads and boat ramps to reduce the amount of run-off entering Lower Red Lake. Exposed soil and erosion of lake access roads and ramps contribute to phosphorus and sediment loading of Red Lake. Stabilizing these lake accesses will promote better water quality, and provide clean habitat for fish in Red Lake.
At Hallet Landing this writer joined Jenilynn Bohm, Red Lake DNR Non-point Source Pollution Specialist, Spiritual Elder Larry Stillday, Red Lake Fisheries Manager Bill May and others for the final ceremony of the day.
At Hallet, for example, when the access was built pottery shards were found during the ground disturbance. "Three may have been something here related to settlement," said Bohm. Some shards found were 2000 years old according to Bohm.
The ceremony conducted by Stillday included the planting of an oak post off to the side of the landing, just a bit out of site and to the East. The purpose is to create energy according to Stillday. The top of the post was debarked and painted red. After the planting, a red ribbon was tied to the post where the paint met the bark. After further prayer, now at the lake, a spirit dish was placed in the water - hidden behind a most convenient rock.