Rice

To the Editor:

Gov. Scott Walker ignored and treated Bad River Tribe environmental concerns just like 18th century politicians did.

Walker cared less about the long-term effects of mining water runoff finding its way into the Bad River Reservation. Wild rice is a sacred harvest each summer for the Ojibway Bad River tribal members. For centuries Native Americans still use canoes to harvest wild rice. The harvest is the Great Spirit’s blessing to the Ojiway people. The tradition of wild ricing was a source of food to help the tribe survive the brutal winters. Today wild rice is shared and sold to many stores and restaurants.

Bad River tribal members and local people protested peacefully against the mining project. Walker encouraged his majority Republican legislators to pass favorable laws for the Gogebic mining company to mine in northern Wisconsin as fast as he could. He forced the DNR to shorten the two-year permit process.

The DNR had environmental concerns about the long-term effects of water runoff going onto the surrounding area and reservation wells. If the mining runoff was going to affect Walker’s neighborhood and the people were against it, he wouldn’t have approved it.

Republican Sen. Dale Schultz, representing that area, was the only Republican to vote against mining legislation.

Walker’s blind ambition was to add more jobs at any cost to support his campaign promise to add 250,000 jobs. Mining jobs were more important than clean water, sacred wild rice paddies and Native American protests.

He claims he didn’t know Gogebic gave his re-election campaign $700,000. His answer sounds just like former President Richard Nixon when he said he didn’t have any involvement with Watergate. He’s just as bad as the 18th century politicians that wrote treaties and broke them for their own profit and self-interest.

Frank Bennett
Salem


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