Editorial: Penokee People Demand Repeal of Mining Laws

January 10, 2014 by Maureen Matusewic

The Tyler Forks River with Carolyn Lake and the headwaters of the Bad River. This land is sacred ground for the Anishinaabeg, and provides the fresh water for the entire area. The mine will go directly in its path. Photo: Larry Kinnett

The Tyler Forks River with Carolyn Lake and the headwaters of the Bad River. This land is sacred ground for the Anishinaabeg, and provides the fresh water for the entire area. The mine will go directly in its path. Photo: Larry Kinnett

The Penokee Hills stand tall above Lake Superior, and cradle the rivers and streams of the Bad River Watershed. These waters, sacred and pure, are rare in our industrialized society. We, the Penokee People, are connected through our common belief that the future for all people is dependent on clean water.

We believe all mothers—be they four-legged, two-legged, or winged—have the right to raise their children in fresh air and clean waters. We honor our grandparents and reject the notion that we need to destroy the Earth to live with more goods than our forefathers.

We are by nature a peaceful people who desire to honor the Earth. We want to continue seeking refuge in the hills and waters of Wisconsin without hearing explosives and earth movers sifting through what billionaires are selling off at our expense.

A sign at the Ashland Listening Session on SB1/AB1, the Republican mining bill. Photo: Rebecca Kemble

A sign at the Ashland Listening Session on SB1/AB1, the Republican mining bill. Photo: Rebecca Kemble

These billionaires promise that they can destroy the Earth and then recreate it using modern technology. They make promises only a creator can make. They have been shaped by greed and want. They are related to those who proudly wiped out the buffalo, and the ones who are now slaughtering the wolves.

Our politicians have changed many laws to serve those who wish to destroy our homeland. There is no honor in this. They align themselves with mining companies and corporations by crying about their sad state of financial affairs.

The Penokee People raise our voices with leaders who reflect that the most important things in life are found in nature:

View of Lake Superior from the Penokee Hills. Photo:  Joel Austin

View of Lake Superior from the Penokee Hills. Photo: Joel Austin

Here is your country. Cherish the natural resources, cherish the history and romance as a sacred heritage, for your children and your children’s children. Do not let selfish men or greedy interests skin your country of its beauty, its riches or its romance.  ~ Theodore Roosevelt

A good deal of our material progress is a progress for which succeeding generations may have to pay dearly. ~ ts eliot

 No wonder the hills and groves were God’s first temples, and the more they are cut down and hewn into cathedrals and churches, the farther off and dimmer seems the Lord himself. ~ John Muir

Earth provides enough to satisfy every man’s needs, but not every man’s greed.  ~ Mahatma Gandhi

All things superceded in our progress of innovations, whatever their value might have been, were discounted as of no value at all.   ~ Wendell Berry

eagles

Photo: Pete Rasmussen

In the love and the spirit of the waters that flow from the Penokee streams into the Bad River and onward out to Superior, we ask our fellow citizens to seek beyond their desires for things that rust, and look to the connections with their neighbor that go before and after this generation.

We join with our neighbors across the state who are losing their hills to sand mining and their waters to industrial farms in a cry for justice. We, the Penokee People, call for a repeal of Act 1, Wisconsin’s unjust ferrous mining law, and Act 118, the wetlands destruction law.

Those who changed the laws in Wisconsin can never change the laws of nature. They refuse to protect the Earth for even their own children. This will not stand.

Photo: Rebecca Kemble

Photo: Rebecca Kemble

Advertisements

Tags: , , , , ,

8 Comments on “Editorial: Penokee People Demand Repeal of Mining Laws”

  1. Barbara With January 10, 2014 at 1:19 pm #

    I proudly count myself one of the Penokee People. There will be no mine. End of story.

  2. Paul Butterbrodt January 10, 2014 at 2:05 pm #

    I was raised in this area. Because of the experiences of my youth in this region, my life outlook is grounded in a deep respect for nature and the life sustaining resources our planet provides. I return regularly to this region to renew my spirit, and my connections to nature.

    I am one of the Penokee People.

  3. benjamin lee dugger January 10, 2014 at 2:15 pm #

    I join with you in hoping there will be no mine.

  4. thesplendide January 10, 2014 at 5:25 pm #

    Thank you for this moving editorial.

    It makes me want to do something NOW.

    What?

    Karen Kormann

  5. Cindy Schave January 10, 2014 at 9:16 pm #

    It is my hope that you will submit this editorial to EVERY newspaper in the state. I proudly stand with you! THERE WILL BE NO MINE!

  6. Paul January 10, 2014 at 9:23 pm #

    I am a one of the Penokee People. This land is sacred to my ancestors. The waters that flow through these hills are the life blood of the planet. Without the water, we have nothing. This mine threatens our cultures, our homes, our health, and our planet. No Penokee mine.

  7. John January 13, 2014 at 1:23 pm #

    I am one of the Central Sands People, who stand with the Penokee People, in the fight against Windigo Politics:
    http://axis.wisearch.com/index.php/archives/571

  8. Robert January 15, 2014 at 8:06 pm #

    100% of all mining already done has polluted the water, land and air with no possibility of being safe. Please stop any mining now.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: