Read the words of wisdom by Mike Wiggins, Jr.

Reflective writing  by Tribal Chairman, Mike Wiggins, Jr., from the Bad River Reservation. The threat is the Open Pit Iron Ore mine in  the Penokee Hills. Bad River Reservation is downstream from the mine.
As I sit in a Madison Hotel tonight it’s giving me some time to reflect on things that have transpired over the course of the past twelve months. It is no secret that Bad River has been uncompromising in our opposition to mountaintop removal in the Bad River Watershed. To spend a year actively engaged in the reality of it happening has been heartbreaking, infuriating and humbling. Tonight I sit here in awe and wonder, truly humbled by some of the things I saw and heard along the way……Please bear with me…I’d like to share some of them.
I have seen rocks ride out to big water on Lake Superior waves.
I have watched babies play blissfully on the floor outside public hearings where their parents testified and begged for stewardship of the earth.
I witnessed Red Cliff leader Marvin Defoe share with everyone that he had to tell his daughter “I have three minutes to change the world.”
I have seen Northland citizens in West Allis who had rode a bus for 7.5 hours for the possibility of five minutes testimony.
I have been told “this is not a game.”
I have seen Cranes, Eagles and Herons appear and stay in places that defy reality.
I have watched Tribal Leaders I used to read about, use their gifts of speech and persuasion to help Bad River and fight for all of us.
I have watched time tested Bad River Ogitchidaa rise to the occasion.
I have watched time tested Bad River Ogitchidaa stir restlessly waiting on other fronts.
I have watched new Bad River Ogitchidaa and Ogitchidakwe rise to the occasion.
I have watched people of the four colors come together to eat, laugh and talk about their love of blue clean water.
I have been told to “show some respect.”
I listened to elders talk of babies and thunderbirds.
I listened to corporations promise millions and millions, but fail to promise the world.
I have watched our Tribal Council in consensus.
I watched Joe Rose’ arm rise in the air and hold for a tenth of second, then drop and launch the loudest drum beat I’ve ever heard through the center of the Capital Building in Madison.
I listened to Danny Powless say to the Madison Singers “no offense, but this is who we are.” Picture Rock Anishinabe
I have been taken aside by Bad River elders to have them say “I pray for you.” “I pray for us.”
I was there when George Newago told the Assembly Committee..”I live here, don’t piss in my cheerios!!”
I have listened to Jo Dan Rose and Jerome Powless stand and deliver like heroes with hand drums.
I have been told the mining company can put enough money aside to fix the aquifers under Bad River if they ruin them.
I listened to Bill Williams describe how GTAC was merely going to participate in and recreate the circle of life with their open pit mine.
I have had the pleasure of telling Bill Williams to clean up his dirt that he left on a testimonial table.
I have had a Senator say “I believe you.”
I have heard us called “The Bad Tribe”, “Bad Water”, “Bad Land” by Republican Legislators.
I have been told by the Governor that he is not driving the mining initiative.
I have told the Governor in a meeting, that if he is going to come to Indian Country and meet with Lake Superior Chippewa he may want to put mining and water issues on the agenda for our meeting.
I have seen pictures of a ceremony where a drum and Mother Earth became one at the hands of Tony Deperry and BR Vice Chair/Elder Bing Lemieux.
I have listened as Lake Superior Chippewa Tribal Leaders talked with our ancestors.
I have seen them all helping these things around us.
I have heard Bad River Elder Joe Rose tell the Creation Story.
I have drank sacred water from Midewin Water Ceremonies
I remember another Bad River Elder Sonny Smart’s talk, and I truly came to realize I know this much
.

I have been told that 1.5 million was earmarked in Legislation for Bad River but it was never made public. I was asked “did you know that Mike?”
I have said that our wild rice and Kakagon Sloughs are worth a penny.
I have said that without our wild rice and Kakagon Sloughs, we won’t live.
I have seen a warrior dancing in the antlers of a big buck, in my fire.
I have seen mothers, babies and wolves in my fire.
I have come to completely understand the dreams that were given in Vision about this stuff.
I have come to understand and accept that there is a spectrum of people reading this right now and some understand what I’m saying and some think I’m nuts. But it’s all true. And it’s been a hell of a long year. With everythin…I’ll end my self disclosure with this……….I have been moved to tears of gratitude with the thought of all your hard work and the roles that all of you stepped up to fulfill. All of you.

These are words that each of us need take to heart. It is in protecting the water, living sustainably, and standing up for our rights, that we are able to protect the environment from Corporate America, that would devour us.

Advertisements

Wisconsin GOP Votes To Break Native American Treaties January 27, 2012

This news come from Segway Jeremy Ryan

This [Iron Ore Min

Iron Ore Mine would leave NW WI with this destruction

Iron Ore Mine would leave NW WI with this destruction

ing] bill is far too broad and allows for a $12 billion mine that would destroy Northern Wisconsin. Northern Wisconsin currently has a lot of natural beauty. There are also several tribes in this area, all of which have Federal peace treaties. Many of the tribes showed up today as the Assembly debated the bill. They worry for their land, their air, and their water. Smaller mines than this one have caused major issues. But rather than work with the tribes and local people, Republican Representative Jeff Stone said it was not his job to provide a seat at the table for tribes. They kept the bill as is.

Tribal land is considered its own sovereign nation. As with every sovereign nation, we have treaties so that we can keep the peace. It was agreed, by treaty, that these tribes would not have their resources infringed upon. This mine, however, would destroy their water and air, breaking the Federal treaty and declaring war on a sovereign nation. Treaties are not optional. The passage of this bill literally and legally declares war on the tribes of the north.

One day longer. One day stronger.

Happy Tonics, Inc., an environmental education organization and public charity,  is standing with the Bad River Reservation to stop the Iron Ore Mine near Bad River Reservation. Personally, I am standing with the tribe because Northwest Wisconsin is my home. I want Northwest Wisconsin to stay pristine for future generations. I do not want the water to become contaminated. I say NO to the Iron Ore Mine. I am a graduate of the Lac Courte Oreilles Ojibwa Community College in Hayward, WI.

Read the full article at http://www.addictinginfo.org/2012/01/27/wisconsin-gop-votes-to-break-native-american-treaties/

 

 

Bad River is having a difficult time defending their rights

against the mining companies. I speak most specifically about the Iron Ore Mine that will be an open pit mine. The mining company will remove the face of the mountain. This is disrespectful and an insult not only to tribal people but to many of us that make Northwest Wisconsin our home.

We live here to be part of the Earth. Now the mining companies and natural gas/oil companies are moving into WI as if we were the new Third World. We have been fighting against the mines for months now.

Still the State Assembly passed the mining bill. There was no regard to tribal treaties which makes me believe that Indigenous lawyers need to respond. I believe that tribes have the right to stop a mine from being build on land above the tribe. Bad River Reservation has 43 waterways that run though the tribe and out to Lake Superior. Bad River watershed needs to be protected.

Listen to the US Fish and Wildlife Service and what the agency is responsible for. It appears that they better help the tribe resolve the mining issue because most assuredly, it will affect the tribe and all others in this part of Northwestern Wisconsin.

YouTube at

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5oCHVdR2nYg&feature=youtu.be

Reflections on the Mother Earth Water Walkers

by John Schneider, June 12, 2011

I watched the ceremony on the Lake Superior shore yesterday of the convergence of the Water Walk. Luckily I got there early and had time to run along the beach and soak and meditate in the lake before I ran up the road from the beach and caught up with the group coming down to the lake. I was tuned into the experience from the point of view of the lake, and from years of running daily
in the wilderness and swimming in lakes and rivers. And from the point of view of opposition to the mine that would send runoff and bring bilge spewing pollution from ore freighters on that beach. And level mountaintops (nearly weathered by time to hills) to feed industry, industry that should already feed from recycled metal first, but doesn’t. And be powered by Lake Superior ind/wave
power melting and recycling materials with zero carbon pollution in the atmosphere and no acid rain in the rivers and lakes.

But thanks to a Facebook friend I never met before, and her guide to the ceremony, a young native girl, and several kids swimming and wading in the mother lake. And several moms comments….but especially a 6 year old who was barefoot and remarked as I was putting my running shoes back on after swimming, “Oh I should have brought my shoes down too..” I realized the point of view of
my childhood again, I had camped in that very same area with my family as a kid, and still I think that trip is in my dreams.

Mother Earth Water Walkers Bad River copyright Jennifer

Mother Earth Water Walkers Bad River copyright Jennifer

Dream on… this is looking through their eyes, the children and their mothers and grandmothers hopes for them…And then!! The great moment for me.. a small thing, but I happened to be right there where the boats would land with the Water Walkers.. the grandmothers….A man stepped up and asked if I would help pull the boats up. A great honor.. a few of us pulled together. Wonderful experience I will meditate on for years… Then I went to the North Country Trail at Upson Lake to explore the Penokees where they would be effected by mining run off. These mountains are wonderful. Their waters are beautiful; I meditated
beside a stream on the trail, watching the intricate insect life. I saw butterflies sucking moisture from mud on Upson Lake boat landing, now to explore this whole area via the trail and get others there too. We need to draw inspiration to fight the mine and fight for those precious waters feeding our very lives and the life web we inhabit.

%d bloggers like this: