By Mary Kay Baum
Our Wisconsin Revolution wants our local, state, and national governments to put people and the planet ahead of profits. Our vision is a government of, by, and for all of the people. So, now, when Menominee leaders of Wisconsin, young warriors and respected elders, call for action to “Save the Menominee River – Stop the Back Forty Mine!” we listen, learn, and stand with them.
The State of Michigan has already permitted an open pit sulfide mine for gold and zinc on its border with Wisconsin and with the sacred ancestral burial and ceremonial grounds of the Menominee Nation. Yes, once again, a contiguous government is ignoring the people and planet for the possible benefit of a few corporate investors in the Canadian Aquila Resources, Inc.
The Chair of the Menominee Nation, Gary Besaw, summed it up well on Wisconsin Public Radio on Friday. If this mine is built, it will produce some more gold for jewelry and will give its outside technical team more work. But this will risk one of the best sources of fresh water in the world – Lake Michigan. The toxic waste from the mine will invariably end up in Lake Michigan.
Learn more about how the Menominee have a culture of protecting the environment in conjunction with many other Native Nations. Become inspired and empowered to think globally and act in your locale. Share notices and attend yourself during the first evening of a speaking tour on Friday April 21st from 6 to 8 p.m. at the College of the Menominee Nation, N172 State Highway 47/55, Keshena, WI 54135. And/or arrange for Guy Reiter and others to bring the speaking tour to your hometown by e-mailing the Protectors of the Menominee River at firstname.lastname@example.org.
The accompanying photo shows Guy Reiter, in front of the Wolf River near Keshena, sharing ways of resistance with activists from the country of Colombia in August 2016. We are called to stop the risky extraction industry from ruining ancestral homelands, livelihoods, and waters.
Photo and article by Mary Kay Baum, member of the Our Wisconsin Revolution Interim Organizing Committee. She can be reached at email@example.com.