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In parts one and two of this series I wrote about Gogebic Taconite and their plan to tear the heart out of the Bad River watershed in Northern Wisconsin. The Wisconsin GOP have aided and abetted this vandalism. I told you about the people who are struggling against this mad plan to poison the waters. But you don't have to take my word for it, You can read about it in the New York Times or the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel. The Sierra Club says that this mine is a very bad idea.

Listen to Mike Wiggins tell his story:
The best part of the video begins at 8:10:

When you look at your Constitution, and I talk with all kinds of non-tribal people that love their home up there, in Ashland County and Iron County, Bayfield County, around the Lake; and they keep telling me, "Well, there's nothing we can do. it's up to you and the tribes now." And I keep thinking to myself, I wish you guys had a treaty with your government. (pause for laughter and applause) You know, I really do.

This is happening today:

On August 21, 2014, the six tribes of Wisconsin’s Chippewa Federation will meet with Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) officials to urge them to stop mining activity in the Penokee Hills in northern Wisconsin. Tribal leaders sent a letter in May requesting the meeting and asking the EPA to invoke a section of the Clean Water Act in order to prevent the devastation of a proposed 22-mile open-pit mountaintop removal iron ore mine from destroying the Bad River watershed:
Click here for a late breaking update on the Ojibwa / EPA meeting.

It's all about the water and the water is what we live on and in because we are the water. You and I are bodies of water. The Ojibwa people came to this area because of a prophecy that promised "food that grows on the water", When they got here they discovered an aquatic grass with edible grain which they named Manoomin, that is, "the good berry".

For us white folks, wild rice is a nice change of pace from potatoes or macaroni, but Zizania palustris), is more than just food to the Ojibwa. The gathering of manoomin is part of their physical connection to the land and their spiritual connection to the water. In the past three centuries The Ojibwa have lost much. What remains to them in the earth, the air, the light and the water is under threat. The poison that threatens the manoomin and the air and the water will harm everyone it touches.

Ask Myron Burns:

I promised you a poem in the title. It's below the impessionist cheese-doodle.


In the sloughs,‭
manoomin sways,
rippling in the air.
Wind rills and waves‭
hiss in the green.

Food-grass eats the light.
Her toes stretch,‭
flexing in the black silt sink,
tickling the sides of perch and pike.

Rivers bring down blood-grit,
milk of the land
settling on the fringe of the big lake.
Water is in you,‭ ‬in clouds,‭ ‬sap and streams,
in crows and in the earth.

Manoomin feeds the Ashinaabe.
Formed of water,‭ ‬air,‭ ‬light and earth,
they dance and drum and sing,
rattling bells,‭ ‬spinning under porcupine roaches.
Wheel and stomp.
Sleep under arches of ironwood.
Mist and smoke entwine in the cedars.
Blue wire bodies of water wisps
tell of the rush‭
under fluttering black wings.

Originally posted to ruleoflaw on Fri Aug 22, 2014 at 02:09 PM PDT.

Also republished by Badger State Progressive, Rebel Songwriters, DK GreenRoots, and Kitchen Table Kibitzing.

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