Monday, July 26, 2010

Second Update: Third Annual Protect the Earth Gathering to be July 30, 31, Aug. 1

Participants in last year's Protect the Earth walk from the Yellow Dog River to Eagle Rock on Aug. 2, 2009. (File photo by Keweenaw Now)

BARAGA, MARQUETTE -- The Third Annual Protect the Earth Great Lakes Community Gathering will be held Friday, Saturday and Sunday, July 30, 31 and Aug. 1, in three different locations: on Friday at the Keweenaw Bay Ojibwa Community College, Baraga; on Saturday at the Ojibwa Pow-wow Grounds, Baraga; and on Sunday on the Clowry Trail, Yellow Dog River.

"This event will bring together some of the most prominent environmental and indigenous rights leaders from across the region including Winona LaDuke, Al Gedicks, Lee Sprague, Stuart Kirsch and more," said Jessica Koski, head organizer and Keweenaw Bay Indian Community (KBIC) member. "There will also be a focused session on mining in the U.P. with expert perspectives on metallic sulfide mining, treaty rights and Anishinaabe cultural concerns, international movements and lessons from Wisconsin's Native-Environmental alliance and grassroots efforts to stop the Crandon Mine."

Winona LaDuke -- Native American activist, environmentalist and writer -- will be the featured speaker during both the Friday and Saturday events. On Friday she will speak at 6 p.m. at the Keweenaw Bay Ojibwa Community College, Baraga. At 9:30 a.m. on Saturday LaDuke will give the keynote address at the Ojibwa Pow-wow Grounds, Baraga.

LaDuke is an enrolled member of the Mississippi Band Anishinaabeg of the White Earth reservation in northern Minnesota. A graduate of Harvard University, LaDuke is known as a voice for Native American economic and environmental concerns throughout the United States and internationally. She is the founding director of both the White Earth Land Recovery Program and Honor the Earth, a national Native American foundation. Besides being named by Time magazine, in 1994, as one of the nation’s 50 most promising leaders under the age of 40, LaDuke was the Green Party’s vice presidential candidate in 1996 and 2000.

The featured musical guest will be Joanne Shenandoah, Iroquois singer, composer, actress and acoustic guitarist.

Winner of a Grammy Award and many Native American Music awards, Shenandoah has performed at Carnegie Hall, the White House, Kennedy Center, Earth Day on the Mall, Woodstock '94, the Parliament of the World's Religions in South Africa and at events in Spain, Turkey, South Korea and thousands of venues in the United States.

This year Protect the Earth is organized and hosted by Oshkinawe-Ogichidaag Akiing -- "New Warriors for the Earth" (NWE), a new Native and non-Native environmental organization dedicated to educating and empowering our communities to take action to protect Aki, Mother Earth. Its mission is to raise awareness about mining and other social-ecological injustices facing the Upper Great Lakes region and Mother Earth.

During the KBIC Pow-wow in Baraga last weekend, New Warriors for the Earth members sell their new tee-shirts and offer flyers, bumper stickers and information about Protect the Earth. Pictured here, from right, are Jessica Koski, Protect the Earth head organizer; Jessica's sisters Michaela and Rachael; and E, KBIC member and musician. (Photo by Keweenaw Now)

Schedule of events

Friday, July 30, at the Keweenaw Bay Ojibwa Community College (KBOCC), Baraga:

1 p.m. - 2 p.m. -- Workshop on Historic Preservation: The National Historic Preservation Act (KBOCC Room 111) by Will Gilmore (Archaeologist involved in the drafting of Section 106), Preston Thompson (Ho Chunk Traditional Court Member) and Ritchie Brown (Ho Chunk Tribal Member)

August 2009 view from the top of Eagle Rock, a Native American sacred site. (File photo by Keweenaw Now)

2:30 p.m. -- Student Presentations (KBOCC Atrium)

3:30 p.m. -- KBIC Strategic Energy and Sustainability Initiatives (KBOCC Room 111) by Char Spruce, KBIC Natural Resources Department

4:30 p.m. - 6 p.m. Opening Community Potluck Dinner* (KBOCC Gym)

6 p.m. - 7 p.m. -- Featured Guests: Winona LaDuke and Joanne Shenandoah
(Joanne Shenandoah will sing some songs, followed by Winona LaDuke's presentation.) (KBOCC Gym)

7 p.m. - 8:30 p.m. -- Film Screening of Homeland: Four Portraits of Native Action (KBOCC Room 111)

Saturday at Ojibwa Pow-wow Grounds, Baraga:

8:30 a.m. -- Welcome with Four Thunders Drum

9 a.m. -- Opening Prayer and Remarks

9:30 a.m. -- Keynote speech by Winona LaDuke

10:15 a.m. - 12 p.m. -- Speakers on Environmental Issues Facing the Great Lakes Region, featuring Lee Sprague (Climate Change Adaptation Strategies), Jeff Gibbs (Biomass) and Kathy Berry and Zak Nicholls (Sarnia's Chemical Valley in Aamjiwnaang First Nation)

12 p.m. -- Break for Lunch (on your own, vendors)*

1 p.m. -- Presentations and Discussion on Eagle Rock and Mining in the Upper Peninsula, featuring Charles Brumleve, Keweenaw Bay Indian Community Mining Specialist (Mining Overview); Doreen Blaker, Keweenaw Bay Indian Community Cultural Committee (Native American/Anishinaabe Perspectives); Jim St. Arnold, Great Lakes Indian Fish and Wildlife Commission (Treaty Rights); Robert VanZile, Mole Lake Sokaogon Chippewa (Grassroots Activism); Al Gedicks, Professor-Activist at the University of Wisconsin La Crosse (Lessons from WI’s Native-Environmental Alliance); Stuart Kirsch, Anthropologist at the University of Michigan (Indigenous Movements, Lessons on Campaigning); Open Discussion (Participants and Audience)

Evening Events at Keweenaw Bay Ojibwa Community College:

5 p.m. - 6:45 p.m. -- Traditional Feast*

7 p.m. - 10 p.m. -- Protect the Earth Concert Featuring Joanne Shenandoah, Bobby Bullet, E and Skip Jones

* Please bring your own tableware and utensils for all meals.

Sunday, Aug. 1, on Clowry Trail, Yellow Dog River:

11 a.m. -- Welcome and Picnic (bring your own), Yellow Dog River

12 Noon -- Annual Walk to Eagle Rock

1 p.m. -- Speakers and Music at the fence line.

Distress flags (hung upside down) on Kennecott's fence at Eagle Rock. (July 2010 photo courtesy Stand for the Land)

Wild blueberry picking too! The plains are full of wild blueberries this time of year, so bring your blueberry pails for the sweetest, tastiest blueberries you’ll ever pick!

Details and directions are available at Stand for the Land.

For more information contact

Events are sponsored by the Western Mining Action Network, Indigenous Environmental Network, Keweenaw Bay Indian Community, Save the Wild UP, Keepers of the Water, Northern Michigan Center for Native American Studies, Yellow Dog Watershed Preserve, and Yellow Dog Summer.

Editor's Notes: Read Keweenaw Now's two articles on the 2009 Protect the Earth events and speakers: See: "Protect the Earth: Part 1" (published Aug. 5, 2009) and "Protect the Earth: Part 2, Walk to Eagle Rock" (published Aug. 8, 2009).

Photos of Winona LaDuke and Joanne Shenandoah courtesy New Earth Warriors. Reprinted with permission.

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