Friday, April 12, 2013

Wisconsin Tribal Leader Challenges Walker

By Rebecca Kemble
Posted April 10, 2013, on The Progressive
Reprinted in part with permission

MADISON -- Wisconsin tribes asserted their presence and their philosophy in Madison (on Tuesday, Apr. 9) and challenged Scott Walker. The occasion was the
State of the Tribes address to a joint session of the legislature.

 
During the Apr. 9, 2013, State of the Tribes address to a joint session of the Wisconsin legislature, the Great Lakes Intertribal drum group, without a permit, brought their enormous drum into the Capitol rotunda and onto the Assembly floor, singing and drumming for extended periods of time without so much as a warning. (Photo © and courtesy Rebecca Kemble. Reprinted with permission.)

The annual speech given by a leader of one of Wisconsin’s eleven Native Sovereign Nations has typically been delivered by younger tribal leaders in recent times. But this year the seasoned Chairman Gordon Thayer, who also served as Lac Courte Oreilles chair in the 1980s, was selected to address the Republican-dominated legislature. He went out of his way to stress collaboration with the state government, but he held firm on the issues of fishing rights and mining.

During his Apr. 9, 2013 State of the Tribes address to the Wisconsin legislature, Lac Courte Oreilles Chairman Gordon Thayer speaks out on the recently passed mining bill that deregulates iron mining activity in the state making it easier for a mountain top removal project in the Penokee Hills to obtain a permit. (Video clip by Penokee MineInfo)*

 After acknowledging state legislative leaders and constitutional officers, Thayer introduced thirteen tribal leaders who had traveled to Madison for the event. He then acknowledged the inter-tribal drum and the group of eleven singers -- one from each Wisconsin tribe -- who sang honor songs three times in the Capitol: Once in the rotunda before the event, once in the Assembly before the session convened, and once on the Assembly floor after the presentation of flags and tribal staffs.... Click here to read the rest of this article on The Progressive.

* Click here to see five more video clips of this event on the Penokee MineInfo You Tube channel. (They are dated Apr. 9, 2013)

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