Tribes Opposed to Mining in Wisconsin and Michigan
Citizen Voices Matter in the Penokee Hills
The legal firm Midwest Environmental Advocates has put together a beautiful collection of testimonials against environmental destruction from the Penokee Mine and other profit-driven industrial activities. These include the members of the Bad River Band of Ojibwe featured below. To see more of their videos, check out their Citizen Voices Matter website.
Protect Our Future: Bad River Youth Video
UW-Madison Professor of Life Sciences Communication and Bad River tribal member Patty Loew produced an award-winning 30-minute documentary video written and directed by teenagers from the Bad River Reservation. The youth say the project did more than teach them valuable skills--it woke them up to the issue of mining and turned them into activists for their home and people.
Ashland Forum on Mountaintop Removal
On December 6, 2012, the Mining Impact Coalition hosted a forum at the Northland College Alvord Theater with Appalachian mining activist Bob Kincaid, Bad River Tribal Chair Mike Wiggins, and Jessica Koski from the Keweenaw Bay Indian Community in Michigan. All three speakers gave powerful testimony about how damaging metallic mining is to the health, economy, and water of the communities that are impacted. Kincaid pointed out that 4,000 people a year die from causes related to mining in Appalachia, and iron mining in Wisconsin would have similar effects here. All three speakers said that the push for mining is driven by the corporate drive for profit, not jobs or meeting human needs, and that new mining legislation to be introduced this winter should be defeated. The forum can be watched on the Indian Country TV website.
The Bad River Band of Lake Superior Chippewa Indians have publicly announced their opposition to the proposed taconite iron mine in the Penokee Hills of northern Wisconsin.
"[I]t is clear, based on available geologic and environmental information, that such an open pit mine cannot be developed and operated using current mining technologies and practices without destroying the environmental quality, including the waters, wetlands, streams, rivers, air, lands and forests of the Bad River watershed, the Bad River Indian Reservation, and Lake Superior," said tribal chair Mike Wiggins, as reported by the Ashland Current.
The Anishinaabe Speak: There will be no mines in the Penokees
"When negotiating treaties, our ancestors saw the threat that hunger for natural resources posed. Treaties were written to protect this. Ten Chippewa bands worked with the states. We are doing our best to be good neighbors. Lack of government to government consultation is unacceptable. The severity of the effects of this appears to be clearly not recognized by this committee holding this hearing at this time and in this place. We would be honored to host any further hearings at no cost to the state of Wisconsin."
-Frank Connors Jr., Bad River Band
Here's how you can get involved in supporting environmental justice in the Penokees.
In Michigan, opposition to mining at Eagle Rock is growing. Ho Chunk Elder Preston Thompson speaks out in this video petition.