Mining Focus of NMU Indigenous Issues Summit

UPDATE: Winona LaDuke, who was scheduled to be a featured presenter at today's (Feb. 21) Indigenous Earth Issues Summit at Northern Michigan University, will not participate in person because of weather-related flight cancellations. She may participate via phone or video conference.

MARQUETTE, Mich. -- Great Lakes Mining will be the focus of the fifth Indigenous Earth Issues Summit at Northern Michigan University on Friday, Feb. 21. The event is scheduled from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. in the Whitman Hall Commons. It is free and open to the public. 

The morning session features presentations on the mines proposed for or currently under construction in each presenter's region.  The afternoon session is focused on involving conference attendees in workshopping a regional approach to mining that is rooted in the Anishinaabe communities of the Lake Superior region.

Featured presenters are from Anishinaabe communities in the Upper Peninsula, Minnesota and Wisconsin. They include:

- Winona LaDuke, Mississippi River Band of Ojibwe. She lives on the White Earth reservation and is the founder of Honor the Earth and Native Harvest.  Named "Woman of the Year" by Ms. Magazine in 1997, LaDuke was also the Green Party vice-presidential candidate in 1996 and 2000.

- Paul DeMain, Lac Courte Oreilles Ojibwe. He is the founder of News from Indian Country, CEO of and key organizer of the LCO Harvest and Education Camp in the Penokee Hills of Wisconsin near the proposed site of the Gogebic Taconite open pit iron ore mine.

- Mike Wiggins, Bad River Band of Lake Superior Ojibwe. He is the tribal chairman for Bad River and a key organizer in the Indigenous environmental movement opposing the proposed Gogebic Taconite mine.

--Jessica Koski, Keweenaw Bay Indian Community. She is a graduate of the Yale School of Forestry and Environmental Studies and has been involved with the Eagle Mine issue for many years.

A room with free children's activities will also be available throughout the summit, run by NMU student volunteers from the School of Education, Leadership and Public Service. 

Registration is not required, but would be helpful. Forms can be found at  For more information, call 906-227-1397. The summit is presented by the NMU Center for Native American Studies, with funding from the Keweenaw Bay Indian Community and the NMU College of Arts and Sciences.


Prepared By
Kristi Evans
News Director