Mary Pember: Ojibwe women vow to protect lands from mining

Mary Annette Pember reports on the fight over mining in Wisconsin:
Ojibwe men are easily identified by the notorious flatness of their rear ends. According to my mom, those butts got that way because of the enthusiastic verbal skills of Ojibwe women. She meant this in a good way, however, since our women are famous for tenaciously keeping our families together, defending them against all threats, both inside and out.

Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker doesn’t know this yet, but he will soon resemble an Ojibwe man. I almost feel sorry for him. He is soon to run head on, or rear on, into the buzz saw that is the angry Ojibwe woman in full out defense mode.

He and his fellow Republicans have finally pushed a mining bill through the legislature that will allow the creation of a huge open pit iron ore mine just south of the Bad River Ojibwe reservation on the shores of Lake Superior. A similar bill was narrowly defeated in 2011, igniting some of the most vocal environmental protests that the state has seen in years. (See my stories for the Yonder and Indian Country Today Media Network for more background.) The Republican dominated assembly and senate, however, redrafted the bill that handily passed both houses this week. Gov. Walker is expected to sign the legislation this week and probably anticipates smooth sailing for the much-touted jobs bill.

Get the Story:
Mary Annette Pember: Ojibwe Women Vow to 'Sit on the Mountain' (The Daily Yonder 3/13)

Related Stories:
Opinion: Treaties support tribes in Wisconsin mining debacle (3/8)
Wisconsin Senate approves mining bill despite tribal protests (2/28)
Column: Mine plan would harm a way of life for Bad River Band (02/14)
Bad River Band emerges as strong opponent in mining battle (02/13)

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