Saturday, January 05, 2013

"Idle No More" event to be held in Watersmeet Jan. 6

By Michele Bourdieu

On Dec. 28, 2012, Georgenia Earring places signs in support of the "Idle No More" movement to reclaim sacred places during the group visit to Eagle Rock, a sacred Anishinaabe (Ojibwe) site near Big Bay, Mich. (Photo © and courtesy Margaret Boyer. Reprinted with permission)*

BARAGA -- Local supporters of the "Idle No More" movement are invited to join Native American groups from Lac Vieux Desert and the Keweenaw Bay Indian Community at 11:30 a.m. TOMORROW, Sunday, Jan. 6, at the Lac Vieux Desert rec center, Watersmeet, and to walk with them to the Lac Vieux Desert Casino at noon for the event.

Click here to find a map and directions to Lac Vieux Desert.

According to their Web site, "Idle No More calls on all people to join in a revolution which honors and fulfills Indigenous sovereignty which protects the land and water. Colonization continues through attacks to Indigenous rights and damage to the land and water. We must repair these violations, live the spirit and intent of the treaty relationship, work towards justice in action, and protect Mother Earth."

Both Native and non-Native supporters are welcome to join in the Idle No More activities, which also support Chief Theresa Spence, whose fast/hunger strike has called attention to issues facing First Nations peoples in Canada.** Activities may include a medicine dance, so those who wish to participate should wear appropriate clothing.

If anyone needs a ride from the Baraga area please contact Charlotte Loonsfoot on Facebook or email Jessica Koski at jlkoski@gmail.com.

* See Jessica Koski's article on the Dec. 28, 2012, visit to Eagle Rock, part of the Idle No More call to return to sacred places to reclaim and protect them. Watch for more photos from this event, coming soon.

** Chief Theresa Spence has been fasting since Dec. 11, 2012, and asking that Canadian Prime Minister Stephen Harper and the Governor General meet with her and other First Nations leaders. Yesterday, Jan. 4, 2013, Harper and Aboriginal Affairs Minister John Duncan agreed to meet with a delegation of First Nations leaders on Jan. 11, 2013.
Click here to read about Idle No More on Indian Country Today.
Click here to read about the Prime Minister's decision.
Click here for a video of the Idle No More Round Dance at the Mall of America -- Minnesotans in support of Chief Theresa Spence.

Also, read Winona LaDuke's recent article, "Why Idle No More Matters."

Friday, January 04, 2013

New Year's Day plunge celebrates support for Conservancy's Seven Mile Point

AHMEEK -- North Woods Conservancy is celebrating their 2012 goal of receiving pledges from 400 people -- who have signed up as monthly sustainers, giving $10/month for the year -- to help make the mortgage payments on Seven Mile Point, a beautiful Lake Superior beach in Keweenaw County.

Since the Conservancy reached its goal, Kate Griffith volunteered to go in the water on New Year's Day at Seven Mile Point.

Kate Griffith and her friend Patrick Jaszczak prepare to make the New Year's Day 2013 plunge at Seven Mile Point. (Photo © and courtesy North Woods Conservancy)

As this video shows, Kate and Pat did make the plunge!

Kate Griffith and her friend Patrick Jaszczak jump in the icy water of Lake Superior at Seven Mile Point in Keweenaw County on New Year's Day, 2013. They are celebrating the North Woods Conservancy fundraising effort reaching 400 supporters to help pay the mortgage on their purchase of the pristine beach. (Video clip © and courtesy North Woods Conservancy)

In 2001 the North Woods Conservancy (NWC) purchased this ecologically sensitive parcel, located on the north shore of the Keweenaw Peninsula in Allouez Township, for protection and limited public access.

Summertime photo of the beach at Seven Mile Point on Lake Superior. The parcel contains 32 acres and 1,506 feet of Lake Superior shoreline, including sand, cobble and 1.1 billion year-old bedrock beach. The Michigan Natural Features Inventory calls Seven Mile Point one of the gems of the Keweenaw. (2010 File photo by Keweenaw Now

Visit the North Woods Conservancy Web site to learn more about Seven Mile Point and their work.

Calumet Art Center open TONIGHT, First Friday

CALUMET -- Tonight, First Friday in Calumet, visit the Calumet Art Center and see the changes that are taking place. Ten looms are dressed and ready for weavers and classes that start soon. The looms can be rented by the month so you can learn before you buy one. The old barn loom that was gifted to the Calumet Art Center by Paul and Anita Campbell is also dressed and ready for you to try out.

Next week the Clay class with Ed Gray takes off with "FUN WITH CLAY." The Calumet Art Center Gallery is changing each day and hopes to be full with new artists by spring. Studio art sessions with school youth start this Saturday from 9:30 a.m. to 11:00 a.m. The Center will offer two 8-week sessions. Visit http://calumetartcenter.com/ for details.

The Calumet Art Center is at 57055 Fifth Street. For more info call 906-281-3494.

Thursday, January 03, 2013

Gallerie Bohème to host opening reception for new exhibit Jan. 4

"Frosty Night" (detail), by Georgi Tsenov. (Photo courtesy Gallerie Bohème)

CALUMET -- Gallerie Bohème in Calumet will host an opening reception for their January exhibit of works by professional artists Georgi Tsenov, Stuart Baird, Margo McCafferty and Tom Rudd from 7 p.m. to 9 p.m. TOMORROW, First Friday, Jan. 4.

"We will have a loaf of bread, homemade wine, cheese, (maybe some leftover Christmas cookies), some non-alcoholic punch and lots of good company," says artist Tom Rudd.

Gallerie Bohème is at the north end of Fifth Street, near the Omphale Gallery and Café, in Calumet.

For more information call Tom Rudd at 906.369.4087.

Copper Country Associated Artists to offer polymer clay workshops Jan. 4

CALUMET -- If you’ve graduated from Play Dough, but you still enjoy sculpture, then First Friday in Calumet at the Copper Country Associated Artists (CCAA) Gallery will be a fun event for you. They are offering two polymer clay workshops -- one at 6:30 p.m. and another at 7:30 p.m. -- on Friday, Jan. 4.

Miniature Pasty Meal, made of polymer clay. (Photo courtesy Copper Country Associated Artists)

Polymer clay is available generally under the brand names of Sculpey or Fimo. With these fine grained clays, adults and kids can make wonderful miniature objects suitable for use as jewelry, home décor and play things.

Members of the CCAA will teach participants how to use small quantities of polymer clay to create items like beads or miniature pasties and sandwiches. Participants can then take the items home with instructions for oven-hardening. Although the material is non-toxic, this material is most suitable for people 8 years old and up. The workshops are free and open to the public, though donations will be accepted.

The gallery is at 205 Fifth Street in Calumet. For more information e-mail ccaartists@gmail.com.

Ziyad and Co. to exhibit Gallery Favorites, beginning Jan. 4

Owl, by Joyce Koskenmaki. (Photo courtesy Ziyad and Co.)

CALUMET -- Start the New Year off with a visit to Ziyad and Co. to get a glimpse of the gallery's favorite works of art, on display for the month of January. An opening reception will be held from 6:30 p.m. to 8 p.m. on First Friday, Jan. 4, 2013, at Ziyad and Co. art gallery at 109 Fifth St, Calumet.

For more information call 906-337-5970 or email at ziyadgallery@gmail.com.

Wednesday, January 02, 2013

K-SNAG to host Adopt A Pet Jan. 5

HOUGHTON -- K-SNAG (Keweenaw Spay-Neuter Assistance Group) is holding Adopt A Pet at two locations on Saturday, Jan. 5, 2013, with some wonderful cats and kittens. They will be at Erickson Feed, Seed and Pet Supply in Hurontown, from 10 a.m. until 2 p.m., and they will also be at the Copper Country Vet Clinic on Sharon Avenue in Houghton from 9 a.m. until noon.

Sen. Levin on Fiscal Cliff agreement

WASHINGTON, D. C. -- U.S. Sen. Carl Levin issued this statement on the recent Fiscal Cliff agreement in Congress:

"It was essential that Congress avoid the highly damaging effects of going over the fiscal cliff. Inaction would have threatened to throw us back into a recession, and that was clearly unacceptable. So while I would have preferred an agreement that better addressed our historical shortfall in revenues, passing an imperfect agreement was far better than the alternative of returning to recession.

"But the harsh reality is that we have delayed only for two months the damaging automatic spending cuts called sequestration. As we seek in the coming months a more comprehensive approach to avoid sequestration, one that will require both prudent spending cuts and additional revenues, it is imperative that we focus on the hundreds of billions of dollars lost to tax avoidance schemes. Closing offshore tax loopholes and ending corporate tax avoidance gimmicks will help us avoid the harmful automatic cuts to important domestic and national security priorities and make the tax system fairer."

Tuesday, January 01, 2013

IDLE NO MORE: Returning To Our Sacred Places - Migizii wa sin

By Jessica Koski, from her blog*
Posted Dec. 30, 2012
Reprinted with permission

Atop Eagle Rock, Dec. 28, 2012. (Photo © and courtesy Kathleen Heideman. Reprinted with permission.)

"Idle No More calls on all people to join in a revolution which honors and fulfills Indigenous sovereignty and which protects the land and water. Colonization continues through attacks to Indigenous rights and damage to the land and water. We must repair these violations, live the spirit and intent of the treaty relationship, work towards justice in action, and protect Mother Earth." ~Idle No More**

BARAGA -- In solidarity with indigenous peoples seeking to protect and reclaim their sacred places around the world and the Idle No More movement, we gathered at Migizii wa sin, Eagle Rock, on December 28, 2012. We gathered in support of Chief Theresa Spence and our brothers and sisters in Canada, across Turtle Island, and down to South America.*** We prepared a fire and shared prayers, blessings, songs, and inspiration for our lands, waters, sacred places, Mother Earth, and the future.

On the way to Eagle Rock on Friday, Dec. 28, 2012, are, from left, Kathleen Heideman,  Georgenia Earring, Jaimee Loonsfoot, Nancie Lamb, Margaret Boyer, Charlotte Loonsfoot and Dan MacNeil. (Photos © and courtesy Jessica Koski except where otherwise indicated. Reprinted with permission.)

Idle No More arose from grassroots and First Nations people across Canada in response to Bill C-45 which aims to gain access to natural resources on First Nation lands by removing environmental protections. Over the past two weeks, Flash Mobs and Round Dances have occurred throughout Canada, the U.S. -- from the Mall of America to Times Square, and even Europe, New Zealand and the Ukraine. Attawapiskat First Nation Chief Theresa Spence approaches week three of a fast/hunger strike protest. She is courageously willing to die for her people as she waits for Canadian Prime Minister Stephen Harper and a representative of Queen Elizabeth to accept her request to simply meet with her and other indigenous leaders to address the issues facing their communities.***

On December 28, the day of the full moon -- Manidoo-Giizisoons (Little Spirit Moon) -- indigenous peoples were asked to gather at their sacred places in solidarity. Eagle Rock, also known as the Home of the White Wolf and the High Place, has been a sacred place to the Anishinaabe and other peoples for centuries. It is located on 1842 Treaty territory in the presently occupied territory of the State of Michigan in the Upper Peninsula near the town of Big Bay. In 2010, Keweenaw Bay Anishinaabe Ogichidaag were arrested at our sacred site to make way for a sulfide mine, known as the "Eagle Mine."**** One of the world's largest mining companies, Rio Tinto, blasted a mine portal directly into Eagle Rock.

Eagle Rock, surrounded by Rio Tinto's fence, is to the left in this photo. The portal to their sulfide mine has been blasted into the rock.

Despite grassroots efforts and legal challenges, the company has constructed a mile long tunnel to a highly reactive sulfide copper/nickel ore body they plan to begin exploiting by 2014 beneath a river of Lake Superior. The effects would ripple to groundwater discharges to freshwater springs, a potential new 21-mile haul road through our pristine wetland and medicinal plant areas, processing and permanent disposal of 2.5 million tons of sulfide-bearing tailings at a lake at Humboldt in the Escanaba River Watershed of Lake Michigan, about 45,000+ acres of mineral rights claimed or leased by Rio Tinto, and a half dozen more sulfide mine target sites.

Sign placed at Eagle Rock on Friday, Dec. 28, 2012, in solidarity with the Idle No More movement.**

The Anishinaabe and their supporters who care for this land and do not wish to see the threshold of the world's fresh water poisoned, have continued to gather and pray at and near Eagle Rock -- amidst its strength and in the face of greed and destruction. We gathered again at Eagle Rock at this important time of solidarity with our brothers and sisters across Canada. We are inspired by the revitalization and strength of indigenous peoples, and we pray for the healing of our people and the protection of our lands and waters across Turtle Island.

Recently Rio Tinto sought to fund a program for tribal students. I issued this statement concerning the program: "My belief is that if Rio Tinto wants to begin respecting indigenous rights and leadership, it should halt its mining activities immediately at our sacred place and begin honest and meaningful consultation with our traditional and political leaders."

On Eagle Rock, participants in the Dec. 28, 2012, event display signs in solidarity with the Idle No More movement. Pictured here are, from left, Nancie Lamb, Kathleen Heideman, Georgenia Earring, and Margaret Boyer.

Editor's Notes:

* Keweenaw Now guest writer Jessica Koski, an Anishinaabe from the Otter Clan, is a member of the Keweenaw Bay Indian Community (KBIC) and is KBIC's Mining Technical Assistant. Most of this article appears on her blog: jessicakoski.blogspot.com. We have added a few of her additional statements.

** Learn more about the Idle No More movement by visiting their Web site.

*** Learn more about Chief Theresa Spence and her hunger strike by watching this You Tube video of a Dec. 18, 2012, interview with her. Click here for a Dec. 31, 2012, article about her invitation to Canadian Parliament members, despite her weakened state.

**** See our May 2010 slide show on Eagle Rock, those who marched in Marquette and those who camped on the Rock to protect it until some were arrested.

Monday, December 31, 2012

HANCOCK -- Old jazz and dance music with the Backroom Boys will swing in the New Year, starting at 8:30 p.m. TONIGHT, Dec. 31, at the Copper Island Beach Club on the Hancock waterfront, bottom of Tezcuco Street.

"Music you can dance to, with sound levels at which you can still carry on a conversation," says musician Oren Tikkanen. "Leave your earplugs at home, but bring your dance shoes."

The Backroom Boys tonight are Bob Norden, trombone and vocals; John Munson, tenor sax, clarinet, and piano; Scott MacIntosh, bass; and Oren Tikkanen, banjo, guitar, and vocals.

Sunday, December 30, 2012

Swedetown Trails allow snow bikes on "Fat Tuesdays"

From Cynthia MacDonald, President
Swedetown Trails Club

CALUMET -- After 6 p.m. on Tuesdays snow bikes are allowed on all Swedetown trails. You must have a season or day pass. Fat tire bikes (3.7 or larger tires) only -- no mountain bikes.

Snow bikes (fat bikes) have very large tires and operate with very low air pressures to keep from sinking into snow. (Keweenaw Now file photo © and courtesy Chris Schmidt)

Here’s the expected trail courtesy: Yield to skiers. Do not ride near the groomed tracks. If you must stop please stay on the edge of the trail away from groomed area.

Note: Fat Tuesday is cancelled when conditions are soft.

There is no end-of-day sweep at Swedetown Trails. Let someone know your plans and ride safely. Cell phone service is coming to the trails near the M203 trailhead very shortly, but until it is working we don't really know the coverage.

For more information visit swedetowntrails.org. For trail conditions see keweenawtrails.com. Chalet phone: 337-1170.