Menominee Nation starts 156-mile walk to rally casino support

Tribal members participate in send-off this morning at tribal headquarters in Keshena, Wisconsin. Photo from Facebook

Members of the Menominee Nation of Wisconsin are braving frigid temperatures as they walk 156 miles in support of their off-reservation casino.

The tribe held a send-off this morning for the dozen or so walkers who are making the long journey the reservation to the state capitol in Madison. They plan to march about 25 miles a day in hopes of convincing Gov. Scott Walker (R) to approve the $800 million casino in Kenosha.

“This activity is actually in the Menominee DNA,” spokesman Michael Beightol told The Milwaukee Business Times. “When they don't like something in Madison, they march.”

Tribal members rally for off-reservation casino. Photo from Facebook

The walkers will spend the night in Manawa. On Saturday, they will arrive in Waupaca.

The march will move to Wautoma on Sunday and Portage on Monday. Participants will arrive in Madison on Tuesday night and the tribe will hold a rally there on Wednesday, the day before the final deadline on the casino.

Artist's rendering of the proposed Menominee Nation off-reservation casino. Image from Casino Kenosha

The Bureau of Indian Affairs approved the casino under the two-part determination provisions of the Indian Gaming Regulatory Act. Walker exercised his authority under the law to veto the project on January 23, when he said it posed an economic risk to the state.

The tribe has disputed the assertion and has offered to cover any potential losses to the state and $220 million for new arena in Milwaukee. Walker, however, has repeatedly said he will not reconsider his decision.

In related news, the tribe unveiled an $8 million renovation of the Menominee Casino and Resort on the reservation. The gaming facility, the hotel and the convention center are now connected.

“This is a great day for us. We talked about it, it’s finally here in reality,” Chairman Gary Besaw told WBAY.

Get the Story:
Menominee march to Madison begins (WLUK 2/13)
Menominee to march from reservation to Madison (The Kenosha News 2/13)
Menominee Tribe members to march 156 miles to Madison to rally for casino (The Milwaukee Business Times 2/13)
Menominee Tribe begins March to Madison casino decision protest (NBC26 2/13)
Menominee Nation to march 150 miles in protest (WTMJ 2/13)
Menominee Tribe Marching to Madison in Casino Push (WBAY 2/13)
Menominee unveil $8 million casino expansion in Keshena (WBAY 2/12)

Bureau of Indian Affairs Documents:
Press Release | Fact Sheet: Menominee Nation Decision | Section 20 Determination: Menominee Nation Off-Reservation Casino

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Menominee Nation prepares for 156-mile march to push casino (2/12)

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