In his historic visit to the Standing Rock Sioux Reservation last week, President Barack Obama renewed his campaign pledge to listen to the voices of American Indian leaders.
Here in Wisconsin six bands of the Lake Superior Chippewa have appealed to President Obama to recognize that their reserved treaty rights are being threatened by the proposed Gogebic Taconite iron mine at the headwaters of the Bad River watershed.
In a letter to President Obama, the tribes stated they are dependent on fishing and harvesting wild rice and “contamination from the mining operation may make it no longer safe to consume these traditional foods in subsistence amounts.”
The tribes requested that the Department of the Interior “prepare litigation to protect waters, wetlands, fisheries, wildlife, subsistence use and public uses” in the Bad River watershed from mining.
How long must Wisconsin tribal leaders wait until the president listens to their voices?
-- Al Gedicks, La Crosse, executive secretary, Wisconsin Resources Protection Council