This is going to be a very long post. There are so many to thank.
First there is Ken Andrews. He is an incredible artist who I "discovered" via mutual Facebook friends. I have long followed his wall there and look at the art in those albums for hours at a time. We did not have a logo of our own last year, so no t-shirts or other materials to distinguish the Northwoods Wolf Alliance from other groups and somewhere along the line I saw ma’iingan on Ken’s page. I knew immediately that I wanted to use that art for our logo and was humbled when Ken agreed!
Ken’s art is amazing and reflects the unique cultural and spiritual feel of our area, it resonates deeply with people of many cultures and I hope you will do yourself a favor and check him out on Facebook.
I don’t yet have a complete list, but other walks took place on the same date- and our member Xotzin did a banner drop in solidarity with us all the way out in Colorado!
WOLF WALK 2013 was amazing! We rallied at the Civic Center Plaza where most of our co-sponsors and supporters had helped us out by bringing tables we’d borrowed and set up literature and other materials about the wolf hunts and other issues of importance to our community. Since I was at another event until just after this one started I am not even sure exactly who helped with the chairs and tables, but I think that Richard Harbaugh, Kathy Spencer-Harbaugh and Matt from Occupy Duluth had much to do with it and suspect it was Scot Bol (several organizational affiliations) who arranged for us to borrow them! I think every single co-sponsor and most supporters were involved in logistics, set up or break down! Chi miigwech to our many allies! We could not have done this without you! Please see the list of co-sponsors and supporters and thank and support them as well!
I am embarrassed, but must admit I was late to an event I played a major role in organizing. That has only happened once before in my entire "career." I do take pride in being professional, but confess that we pushed the envelope a bit to accommodate both our rally and the talk at the International Wolf Center conference. Since the IWC conference involved many researchers and policy makers that we don’t usually get in front of, I think it was a good decision. We all hope a "stop the hunt" rally won't be necessary next year.
The talk to the IWC audience was so well received that I had a lot of trouble leaving the DECC and getting to the rally! All of the literature that Susan Oswood and others helped create and which Susan and Debra Wilde spent I don’t know how long stuffing into folders for me to hand out was gone and people wanted more. I did give out our contact info and promised to follow up on requests for additional information. Once I got there and we were able to get underway we listened to Robert DesJarlait, Red Lake Anishinaabeg elder and Director of Protect Our Manoomin, Skip Sandman local Anishinaabeg elder, candidate for an At Large seat on the Duluth City Council, and mentor, friend and family to many of our members, Barry Babcock, an environmental activist and deer hunter who has long lived on the Leech Lake Reservation, Melissa Smith of Friends of the Wisconsin Wolf, and Howard Goldman of the Humane Society of the United States, as well as myself, detailing reasons to oppose the hunting of ma’iingan (wolf) in Minnesota.
We enjoyed listening to the Little Horse Drum Group and the Burntside Lake Singers before we began our march thorough downtown Duluth and on to Canal Park.
Many people have expressed appreciation for that particular element of WOLF WALK 2013 - that we went to Canal Park and did the round dance on the shore. Canal park is a place of historic significance and hopefully someday soon I can interview some elders and write about that. I only know a few of the stories and teachings.
Dan Adams of the Duluth-Superior Native American Community spoke at the round dance and many sang. Then we all went and enjoyed a wonderful feast that a volunteer who wishes to remain anonymous had waiting for us when we arrived at the Central Hillside Community Center. Tony Hernandez and Renee Van Nett of the Native Alliance, Kelly Foss and Lisa Herthel also worked hard on coordinating and setting up the feast, and we are very grateful. We had plenty of good food! Kathleen Spencer- Harbaugh brought her famous (and delicious) home made pizza too! We were honored with more singing and drumming during the hand drum contest that Jaron Andrew, one of our Duluth Indigenous Commission members organized for our enjoyment! Miigwech Jaron! I love hearing these guys sing.
Volunteer and photographer Chuck Ashley donated 3 beautiful framed wolf prints of his art and I got a woman’s cut Idle No More t-shirt designed by Sarah Little Redfeather Kalmanson to show off!
The entire event was photographed by Ivy Vainio, Official photographer of WOLF WALK 2012 and 2013! See a selection of Ivy's photos on the Photo Gallery page. Chris Oswood of Innovox Audio provided the public address system for the rally.
SO MANY people and organizations worked together to make the walk a success.
Miigwech and AAAAAAWWWWWWWWWOOOOOOOOOO....... for your support!
"If you take the fur of ma’iingan, you take the flesh off my back." Endaso-Giizhik, Red Lake Anishinaabeg elder, Makwa Indoodem (bear clan).
To read the creation story of the Anishinaabeg (Ojibwe) please see The Mishomis Book, by Edward Benton Banai. See also "Prophecies, Mining and Water" www.youtube.com, and the Protect Our Manoomin web site.