“Mobilizing the Grassroots to Protect the Menominee River” (May 25, 2022)
Dr. Al Gedicks, environmental sociologist and Indigenous rights activist
Anahkwet (Guy Reiter), executive Director of Menīkānaehkem, Inc.
Dale Burie, Coalition to SAVE the Menominee River
The Coalition to SAVE the Menominee River and the Menominee Indian Tribe of Wisconsin have joined forces to protect the Menominee River from the Back Forty Project, a proposed metallic sulfide mine next to the river. So far, their combined public education efforts and legal challenges have forced the withdrawal of Aquila Resources, a Canadian exploration company, from the project. However, a new company, the Gold Resource Corporation (GORO) of Denver, Colorado, has acquired the assets of Aquila Resources and has asserted that they will have all the permits for the Back Forty Project in hand by the end of 2023 with construction to begin by early 2024. On the next Upper Peninsula Environmental Coalition Livestream, representatives of this environmental and tribal alliance will discuss how they have brought the Back Forty permitting process to a standstill and how they plan to continue their efforts to protect the Menominee River from any proposed metallic sulfide mine.
Dr. Al Gedicks is an environmental sociologist and Indigenous rights activist and scholar. He has written extensively about Indigenous and popular resistance to ecologically destructive mining and oil projects. In 1977 he founded the Center for Alternative Mining Development Policy and assisted the Mole Lake Sokaogon Ojibwe Tribe in successfully resisting Exxon’s proposed metallic sulfide mine upstream from the tribe’s sacred wild rice beds. He is emeritus professor of sociology at the University of Wisconsin-La Crosse and the Executive Secretary of the Wisconsin Resources Protection Council, a statewide environmental organization to educate the public about metallic sulfide mining projects in the upper Midwest. He is presently working with the Menominee Nation and the Coalition to SAVE the Menominee River to oppose the Back Forty Project next to the Menominee River.
Anahkwet (Guy Reiter) is a traditional Menominee who resides on the Menominee Reservation and the executive Director of Menīkānaehkem, Inc., a Menominee Indian community organization. Anahkwet serves his community as an organizer, activist, author, amateur archaeologist and lecturer. He also is a member of the Menominee Constitutional Taskforce.
Dale Burie is a retired Safety Coordinator from Tyson Foods, Nashville, Tennessee. Upon retiring and building their retirement home only 1/4 mile from the Menominee River 20 miles North of Marinette, Wisconsin. Dale and his wife Lea Jane became aware of the threat to the river from Aquila Resources sulfide mine exploration company from Toronto, Canada. Dale and Lea Jane organized their first meeting pf the "Coalition to SAVE the Menominee River, Inc.". The Coalition's work continues challenging the next owner of the Back Forty project on the Menominee River. Their website is www.jointherivercoalition.org