Wisconsin's six Ojibwe tribes have jointly written a letter to President Obama asking him to intervene to halt construction of the Penokee mine in Iron and Ashland counties.
Late last month, the tribes sent President Obama a letter requesting the Department of the Interior prepare litigation to protect the wetlands, fisheries, waters and wildlife from mining.
Geogebic Taconite is hoping to dig a four-mile long iron ore mine crossing Iron and Ashland counties. One of the Chippewa bands signing the letter was the Lac du Flambeau Band of Lake Superior Chippewa. Spokesperson Brandon Thoms...
"....the letter directly asks for President Obama's intervention in response to recent legislation that would remove environmental protections, remove resource protection, and that takes away a lot of the (DNR's) ability to regulate the mining industry in the state...."
Besides Lac du Flambeau, the other Ojibwe tribes signing the letter were the Bad River, Mole Lake, Red Cliff, and Lac Court Orielles. Thoms says they feel the mine would have a detrimental affect on their way of life guaranteed by the treaties with the federal government...
"....through the Treaty of 1837 and the Treaty of 1842 with the federal government, the president has the fiduciary responsibility to protect the livlihoods of tribal nations within the ceded territory..."
The letter asks Obama to stay any legislation that would open up the Penokee Hills and surrounding areas to mining.
Thoms says they have not heard back from the Obama Administration.