Gold Diggers and Indians

By Bleifuss, Joel | In These Times, January 2013 | Go to article overview

Gold Diggers and Indians

Bleifuss, Joel, In These Times

PRESIDENT BaRACK ObAMA carried Wisconsin by 52 to 46 percent- winning the state by more than 200,000 votes. Yet, curiously, the Wisconsin Republican Party solidified its control of both the Wisconsin state assembly and senate. It is now certain that Gov. Scott Walker (R) is in a position to turn his state's natural resources over to the corporate bag men who helped make that victory possible.

Today, in the Northwoods of the Upper Midwest the mining industry is busy prospecting. Like Africa's Congo River Basin, this area of the Great Lakes Basin is rich in valuable minerals. Unlike the Congo, it is peaceful.

At least for now.

The gold rush is on, the natives are restless.

Aquila Resources has its sights set on gold deposits at five sites in Minnesota, Wisconsin and the Upper Peninsula of Michigan. According to the company's website, "the Great Lakes region [offers] a politically stable and increasingly attractive investment opportunity." For example, the company boasts that its Reef Gold Project in Marathon County, Wis., "is potentially amendable to low cost, open pit mining."

The problem for Aquila Resources is that extracting this gold will entail processing sulfur- rich ore, a byproduct of which is acid waste that pollutes the environment. For that reason, in 1997 the Wisconsin legislature instituted a moratorium on metallic sulfide mines. But Democrats were in control then.

Days after the November 6 election, lobbyists for the mining industry asked the Republican-controlled legislature to repeal the state's sulfide mining moratorium. Ron Kuehn, a lobbyist for Aquila Resources, told the Wisconsin State Journal: "If the moratorium went away, that would be a very significant signal to mining companies." In other words, the gold rush could commence.

The Wisconsin Mining Association (WMA) puts it this way: "Today, some of the richest mineral deposits in our country lie buried under Wisconsin and thousands of good jobs are buried there with them."

The WMA backs Assembly Bill 426. Republican members on the Jobs, Economy and Small Business Committee wrote this legislation in 2011 to bypass environmental regulations, and to eliminate local input and control of the mining industry. The GOP legislators who wrote that bill were members of the American Legislative Exchange Council (ALEC) - a secretive association of corporate representatives, right-wing think tanks and state legislators that promotes "model legislation." The bill passed the assembly on Nov. 26, 2012, and will soon fly through the state senate.

Assembly Bill 426 was expressly crafted for the Cline Group, a Florida-based mining conglomerate that claims to want to establish an open pit taconite iron ore mine in the Penokee Mountains - a natural wonder that Backpacker magazine calls "the Alps of Wisconsin."

By the shores of Gitche Gumee

The proposed 4.5-mile-long, 1.5-milewide open-pit mine would sit about 30 miles south of Lake Superior, in the headwaters of the Bad River.

The Bad River flows toward Lake Superior over the majestic Copper Falls and into the Kakagon Slough, a 16,000acre wetland known as the Everglades of the North. The Kakagon is located in the Bad River Reservation, home to the Bad River Band of the Lake Superior Tribe of Chippewa [Anishinaabe] Indians. This slough is also home to the only surviving costal wild rice wetland in the Great Lakes Basin. Wild rice, or manoomin, is a sacred crop to the 11 Anishinaabe tribes that make their home around the Great Lakes. Consequently, Indian nations across the Upper Midwest are united in opposition to the Cline Groups iron mine, and the toxic runoff that is sure to ensue. (Full disclosure: I am not a disinterested party. For the past 50 years, I have spent part of every summer on Madeline IslandMoningwunkauning - in Lake Superior, living a few hundred yards from Bad River Reservation land.)

Mike Wiggins, the Bad River tribal chairman, helped organize opposition to the proposed mine by the regions various Indian nations. …

The rest of this article is only available to active members of Questia

Already a member? Log in now.

Notes for this article

Add a new note
If you are trying to select text to create highlights or citations, remember that you must now click or tap on the first word, and then click or tap on the last word.
One moment ...
Default project is now your active project.
Project items

Items saved from this article

This article has been saved
Highlights (0)
Some of your highlights are legacy items.

Highlights saved before July 30, 2012 will not be displayed on their respective source pages.

You can easily re-create the highlights by opening the book page or article, selecting the text, and clicking “Highlight.”

Citations (0)
Some of your citations are legacy items.

Any citation created before July 30, 2012 will labeled as a “Cited page.” New citations will be saved as cited passages, pages or articles.

We also added the ability to view new citations from your projects or the book or article where you created them.

Notes (0)
Bookmarks (0)

You have no saved items from this article

Project items include:
  • Saved book/article
  • Highlights
  • Quotes/citations
  • Notes
  • Bookmarks
Cite this article

Cited article

Citations are available only to our active members.
Buy instant access to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

(Einhorn, 1992, p. 25)

(Einhorn 25)

1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25,

Note: primary sources have slightly different requirements for citation. Please see these guidelines for more information.

Cited article

Gold Diggers and Indians


Text size Smaller Larger Reset View mode
Search within

Search within this article

Look up

Look up a word

  • Dictionary
  • Thesaurus
Please submit a word or phrase above.
Print this page

Print this page

Why can't I print more than one page at a time?

Full screen

matching results for page

    Questia reader help

    How to highlight and cite specific passages

    1. Click or tap the first word you want to select.
    2. Click or tap the last word you want to select, and you’ll see everything in between get selected.
    3. You’ll then get a menu of options like creating a highlight or a citation from that passage of text.

    OK, got it!

    Cited passage

    Citations are available only to our active members.
    Buy instant access to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn, 1992, p. 25).

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn 25)

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences."1

    1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25,

    New feature

    It is estimated that 1 in 10 people have dyslexia, and in an effort to make Questia easier to use for those people, we have added a new choice of font to the Reader. That font is called OpenDyslexic, and has been designed to help with some of the symptoms of dyslexia. For more information on this font, please visit

    To use OpenDyslexic, choose it from the Typeface list in Font settings.

    OK, got it!

    Cited passage

    Thanks for trying Questia!

    Please continue trying out our research tools, but please note, full functionality is available only to our active members.

    Your work will be lost once you leave this Web page.

    Buy instant access to save your work.

    Already a member? Log in now.

    Author Advanced search


    An unknown error has occurred. Please click the button below to reload the page. If the problem persists, please try again in a little while.