Mary Pember: Wisconsin tribes prepared to defend land, water

"Wisconsin's legislature is considering rules that would make new mining operations swfiter to begin and less subject to oversight. But the state's Native American tribes, with experience behind them, are prepared to defend their land and water.

"Lake Superior Chippewa are radical environmentalists," declared Michael Wiggins, Jr. , tribal chairman of the Bad River Chippewa. Wiggins is opposed to the proposed 4-mile-long iron mine near the reservation in northern Wisconsin because, he says, it will scar mother Earth.

Gov. Scott Walker and state Republicans who are promoting the mine as an answer to the region's economic slump would do well to heed Wiggins's words.

The current laws governing mining in the state of Wisconsin have their roots in Indian Country. Mining industry journals and think tanks have described Wisconsin-based mining opposition groups as "threats to the global mining industry" and assigned the state the lowest spot on its "Investment Attractiveness Index.""

Get the Story:
Mary Annette Pember: Weaker Mining Regs Face Tribal Opposition (The Daily Yonder 3/5)

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