LETTER: Help fight Round 2 iron miningTo the Telegram: As the early summer re-election of Gov. Walker signaled round two in the Penokee Mountain top removal fight, Bad River tribal elder Joe Rose and I were drinking coffee at the Golden Glow Café in Ashland.
To the Telegram:
As the early summer re-election of Gov. Walker signaled round two in the Penokee Mountain top removal fight, Bad River tribal elder Joe Rose and I were drinking coffee at the Golden Glow Café in Ashland. We were remembering the Lake Superior Chippewa Indian activist Walt “Makoonse” Bresette’s and others efforts to protect the earth. When Bresette walked on in the late ‘90s someone wrote “Walt Bresette held up the sky over northern Wisconsin. He was like the North Star and the people followed him.” Tribal members, environmentalists and hillbillies from places like Crandon or Mellen or Eagle River were moved by Bresette’s words and deeds.
Walt and Cass Joy’s daughter Katie Bresette-Buttefield, living at Red Cliff, approves us bringing her Dad’s books, notes and artwork to the Madeline Island public library for special display and permanent housing.
Joe Rose talked about others in this local tribal-environmental coalition that still help us protect the earth. Sylvia Cloud, Victoria Gokee, Frank Koehn, Joe Rose, Joe Dan Rose, Butch Stone and Mike Wiggins Jr., rose up. We remember their early ‘80s fight against the Department of Energy siting a high-level nuclear waste dump in southern Ashland County, halting condo development over burial sites on Madeline Island, the Witness for Nonviolence at the boat landings during the walleye/treaty rights war, stopping local garbage incineration and Terra Energy from drilling for oil in Bayfield County, the blockade of the acid train shipment over the Bad River reservation and eventual closure of the White Pine mine, and of course, stopping the Penokee mountaintop removal last spring less than six miles from the Bad River reservation.
We need these stories to nourish our resistance against turning our territory into a toxic waste dump and stealing the water.
I’ve produced more than 250 public radio and You Tube features about tribal/environmental protection in the Northwoods. Last year I received funding from the Wisconsin Humanities Council (WHC) and the LaPointe Center for the Arts to produce “Manoomike: Tom Vennum Jr., Fred Ackley Jr., wild rice and the Ojibway people.” This story aired on three public radio stations.
I’m seeking funding once again from the Wisconsin Humanities Council to defend our motherland. Bad River Elder Joe Rose serves as the principal informant and counsel on this project. We plan to make this work available on You Tube and an upcoming, regional Internet news service.
Please help us get this project going by making a generous contribution to the Penokee Hills Education Project. Send checks to Penokee Hills Education Project, 21 N. Seventh St., Bayfield, WI 54814. Contributions are tax deductible.
Nick Vander Puy,