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Hoag Award Recipients

2012 Jeff Mears, Oneida Tribe of Indians of Wisconsin



2009 Susan LaFernier, Keweenaw Bay Indian Community

Susan LaFernier received the Hoag Award in recognition of her Environmental Stewardship efforts related to protection of water, efforts to oppose sulfide mining, protection of natural resources, and other such efforts.

2008 Jennifer Hill-Kelly, Oneida Tribe of Wisconsin

2007 Nancy Schuldt, Water Quality Coordinator, Fond du Lac Band of Chippewa Indians

Nancy has demonstrated excellent leadership abilities that have proven valuable to Fond du Lac as well as to state and federal agencies. She is actively involved in national, regional, and local environmental issues and decision making workgroups and committees. She serves on numerous groups including the St. Louis River TMDL Partnership steering committee, the Lake Superior Basin Plan Programmatic Work Group, the Natural Resource Trustee's Technical Committee for Natural Resource Damage Assessment of the St. Louis River Interlake Domtar Superfund Site, and the Lake Superior Bi-National Program. Nancy also led the work in organizing the Big Lake Partnership Association, enabling Big Lake community members to meet and discuss issues surrounding the over-populated lake within the Fond du Lac Reservation.

Nancy was instrumental in developing water quality standards and recording base line measures for the watersheds on and near the Fond du Lac Reservation. Fond du Lac is the first tribe in Minnesota to have federally approved standards and one of three in the region. A monitoring plan and quality assurance plan allows for continuous monitoring to assure that Fond du Lac lakes meet the criteria set up in the standards. EPA Region 5 Water Division continues to use the monitoring plan and the quality assurance plan as guidance for other tribes entering into this phase of their environmental programs. These efforts have paid off with a high degree of protection for Fond du Lac lakes and streams. Ms. Schuldt's willingness to assist other tribes with water quality related issues/programs shows her genuine dedication to environmental protection. She is always among the first to volunteer her assistance to other tribes by giving presentations, organizing workshops, and lending her technical knowledge and expertise.

Nancy has been an outstanding representative for the Fond du Lac Band and Indian country. The Fond du Lac Tribal Council members have come to rely on Nancy's expertise on protection of tribal waters and are confident that the tribe is well represented when Nancy attends meetings or conferences on their behalf.

2006 Ms. Christine Berini, Fond du Lac Band of Chippewa Indians

Ms. Berini serves as Environmental Director for the Fond du Lac Band. She was instrumental in establishing an environmental management program that is considered premier in the region. She oversaw the development of programs related to solid waste management, water quality, wetlands, radon, environmental health and education, emergency management, Brownfields, and renewable energy. Many tribes throughout the region have relied on Fond du Lac's experience and expertise during the development of their own programs.

Chris has demonstrated a willingness to embrace new approaches to environmental management. Fond du Lac was the first tribe in EPA Region 5 to evaluate the use of Performance Partnership Grants. This tribe was also the first tribe in Region 5 to pursue "treatment as a state" under the Clean Air Act Tribal Authority Rule. Region 5 is currently working with Fond du Lac to develop the first federally credentialed tribal staff in the country to conduct inspections at sites on the Fond du Lac Reservation that contain regulated wetlands. The tribe is one of three tribes in Region 5 that has federally-approved water quality standards.

Ms. Berini's contribution to environmental protection in Indian country has included her service on regional and national work groups. She represented the tribes in Region 5 on EPA's Tribal Science Council, assisting with the development of the first national Tribal Science Forum in September 2006. She also served on EPA Forum on State and Tribal Toxics Actions and is currently serving as a Region 5 representative to the EPA National Tribal Operations Committee.

2005 Dwight Sargent, Inter-Tribal Council of Michigan

For over 14 years, Dwight had been a leader in the development of environmental management programs for Indian Country in Michigan, working with majority of the federally-recognized Tribes to identify their initial environmental protection priorities and develop programs or projects to address those issues. As the Tribal programs on each reservation have matured, Dwight has continued to be a valuable technical resource for the other Tribal environmental staff in the state and the region.

Dwight has assisted the Tribes to address a wide range of environmental threats, including the closure of open dumps and development of alternative solid waste management practices; development of source water protection programs to ensure safe and available drinking water for Tribal needs; identification and mitigation of radon in residential housing; and implementation of an innovative air quality monitoring program for the eastern Upper Peninsula that has been integrated with similar efforts by the State of Michigan and Environment Canada.

In addition to working on specific Tribal environmental issues, Dwight has advanced environmental protection in Indian Country through assisting with the development of the Michigan Tribal Environmental Group and working with U.S. EPA to establish the Tribal Environmental Agreement process in Michigan. He has also served as the Region 5 Tribal representative to the National Tribal Air Association.

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2004 Don Wedll, Mille Lacs Band of Ojibwe Indians

Don served the Mille Lacs Band of Ojibwe Indians for over 32 years in the planning and natural resource fields. Don was instrumental in the creation of the Department of Natural Resources/Environment, and developed a conservation code to ensure that fishing and hunting activities are protective of Mille Lacs Lake and other natural resources. In addition, Don developed one of the first archeological protection agreements with the state and federal governments, and worked with the City of Garrison on a regional wastewater treatment plant that serves 10,000 residents and protects Mille Lacs Lake from inadequate septic systems. Don represented the Tribes in Minnesota on the RTOC in its early formative years. Most recently, Don has served as Senior Planner and is working on a 50-year comprehensive plan that includes natural resources, education, housing, and health care.

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2003 Patty O'Donnell, Grand Traverse Band of Ottawa and Chippewa Indians

Patty has worked on environmental programs for the Grand Traverse Band of Ottawa and Chippewa Indians for over 9 years, most recently serving as the Environmental Services Director. Over the years she has been involved in issues related to water quality, solid waste, pollution prevention, air quality, land use planning, environmental health, and environmental education. Throughout her career at Grand Traverse Band, Patty has been a pioneer in a number of environmental programs and projects in Indian Country. Some of these include soil erosion and storm water runoff control, a ban on the use of burn barrels, and pollution prevention and waste minimization. She was also instrumental in the creation of the Michigan Tribal Environmental Group. Patty has been a leader in promoting Tribal access and involvement in other organizations and forums that work for environmental protection, especially related to the protection of the Great Lakes. Patty has served as president of Great Lakes United.

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Indian Environmental Office
U.S. EPA Region 5
77 West Jackson Blvd (R-19J)
Chicago, IL 60604-3590

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