See our right-hand column for announcements and news briefs. Scroll down the right-hand column to access the Archives -- links to articles posted in the main column since 2007.

Saturday, January 12, 2013

Community Alliance for Progressive Education to meet Jan. 13; Family Fun day Feb. 2

HOUGHTON -- CAPE (Community Alliance for Progressive Education) is holding meetings every second Sunday of each month for anyone who is interested in learning more about their mission and/or being a part of their journey towards founding a charter school. The meetings will be held from 2 p.m. - 4 p.m. at the Portage Lake District Library Community Room, and the first meeting this year will be TOMORROW, Sunday, Jan. 13. Everyone is welcome!

CAPE to host Silent Auction/Family Fun day Feb. 2

CAPE (Community Alliance for Progressive Education) will host a Silent Auction/Family Fun day from 3:30 p.m. to 7:30 p.m. on Saturday, Feb.2, at the Orpheum Theater, 426 Quincy St., Hancock. The event will include live music, games, art projects, a story corner, and a silent auction. CAPE's objective is to raise enough money for the application fee to become a Non-Profit organization, which is the first step towards their application to become a charter school.

Admission to the event itself is free, with a suggested donation of $2 per person. For questions or comments, please contact Sarah Kirchner at or (906)370-6073. Visit the CAPE Web site at

Friday, January 11, 2013

Save the Wild UP hires new director, adopts online focus

MARQUETTE -- Save The Wild UP (SWUP) kicked off 2013 with a bang, announcing that they’ll move their operations -- online! -- and hire Alexandra Thebert as Executive Director.

Alexandra Thebert, new Executive Director of Save the Wild UP. (Photo courtesy Alexandra Thebert)

Save the Wild UP has eliminated their Marquette office, citing a nationwide trend for streamlined, adaptive, grassroots organizations.

"The website is a key part of our identity," says SWUP Board Member Kristi Mills. " receives a high volume of traffic, and is a clearing house for information about sulfide mining and diverse issues impacting natural resources in the Upper Peninsula."

Kristi Mills (front, center), former executive director of Save the Wild UP and present board member, speaks against the proposed CR 595 during the Oct. 7, 2010, Road Commission hearing. The Department of Environmental Quality recently denied the permit for building this haul road for the Rio Tinto Mine -- a wilderness road which would have impacted many wetlands and streams. (Keweenaw Now file photo)

Save the Wild UP is grassroots environmental organization dedicated to the preservation of the Upper Peninsula’s unique cultural and natural resources.

"We're thrilled to be taking this step," says SWUP Board Member Kathleen Heideman. "It aligns really well with our base -- concerned citizens who are widely dispersed across the Upper Peninsula, but easily reached via social networking. Nonprofits are always being challenged to stretch their resources. The decision to 'go virtual' means we'll have more to work with; we're allocating resources to fund our ideas."

Board Member Jon Saari applauds the change.

"I will miss the sign on Third Street, but the change really makes sense at this time." He notes that some other UP environmental organizations already thrive without a central office. "In the era of Facebook, the brick-and-mortar office model has become less advantageous and efficient," says Saari.

Following board retreats, Save the Wild UP has hired Alexandra Thebert as Executive Director. Thebert is uniquely qualified to drive SWUP at this transformational moment.

"We are poised to expand our efforts across the UP to educate and engage new people," says Thebert, who previously worked in Chicago for a national health care nonprofit, but longed to "move back home to the beautiful UP."

A former organizational and communications consultant, Thebert also brings to SWUP her experience working with political campaigns.

Save the Wild UP's recent activities included meeting with EPA Region 5 Director Susan Hedman and MDEQ Director Dan Wyant to share concerns regarding the now-defunct CR 595, sponsoring the 2012 "Water is Life" educational tour throughout central and western UP, and providing testimony at hearings for the proposed Copperwood Mine in Gogebic County.

During a break between the question-answer session and the formal Michigan Department of Environmental Quality (MDEQ) hearing on the Orvana Copperwood Mine on June 28, 2012, Margaret Comfort, Save the Wild UP president, and Richard Sloat, center, of Iron County, Mich., speak about environmental concerns with Steve Casey, MDEQ Water Resources Division district supervisor of the Upper Peninsula District Office. Save the Wild UP members and officers have spoken at several public hearings concerning mining issues. (File photo by Keweenaw Now)

In 2013, Save the Wild UP's "Keeping It Wild!" campaign will focus on environmental issue awareness, expanded educational forums, UP-wide community outreach, and a special projects integrating the arts with environmental concerns.

Save the Wild UP is a grassroots environmental organization dedicated to the preservation of the Upper Peninsula’s unique cultural and natural resources. For more information, visit their updated Web site at or contact them at (906) 228-4444 or email

Thursday, January 10, 2013

Michigan Tech Mind Trekkers to take science demos to Green Bay Jan. 12

HOUGHTON -- The Michigan Tech Mind Trekkers are taking hands-on science excitement to Green Bay this Saturday, Jan. 12. Twelve students and two Center for Pre-College Outreach staff will bring 17 different science and engineering demonstrations to the Einstein Project Science Expo.

At the 2011 Houghton County Fair, youngsters line up to try running or dancing through oobleck, a sticky white substance that grabs your feet and holds you if you don't move fast. It's a favorite Mind Trekkers event. (File photo by Keweenaw Now)

Mind Trekkers is a regular at the Einstein Science Expo. This is the third year they have participated in the popular event, which draws thousands of children and families for a day of do-it-yourself science fun.

Dance Zone Marquette to host Bob Buchkoe and Blue Champagne Jan. 12

MARQUETTE -- The Dance Zone in Marquette will host Bob Buchkoe and Blue Champagne for your dancing and listening enjoyment beginning at 7 p.m. Saturday, Jan. 12. 

Come and bring your friends for a fun time. $10 per person at the door. Please do remember to bring clean shoes to protect your knees and this great dance floor.

Blocks of tickets will be available for sale starting with this Saturday's dance -- $30 for 5 tickets or $50 for ten tickets. This actually brings the price down.

You might want to try contra dancing (Fridays) or Zumba (M, W, F at 6 p.m.; Sat. at 10 a.m.) if you're looking to expand your dancing horizons.

Let Marge know if you have any questions: 906-236-1457. Dance Zone is at 1113 Lincoln Avenue (Lincoln and College) in Marquette. Click here to visit the Dance Zone Web site.

Wednesday, January 09, 2013

DNR Western UP Citizens' Advisory Council to meet Jan. 14

LANSING -- The Department of Natural Resources’ (DNR's) Western Upper Peninsula Citizens' Advisory Council (CAC) will meet in Houghton County on Monday, Jan. 14, in Isle Royale Ballroom B, at Michigan Technological University’s Memorial Union Building, located at 1400 Townsend Drive, Houghton.

Beginning at 5:30 p.m., DNR staff will present division reports on current DNR projects and business and will answer questions from council members and the public. The council meeting will immediately follow from 6 p.m. to 8 p.m. (all times are Eastern).

Agenda items include the following:
  • DNR presentation on regional state forest planning process
  • Upper Peninsula Deer Advisory Team options and update
The Eastern Upper Peninsula and Western Upper Peninsula CACs are designed to advise the DNR on regional programs and policies; identify areas in which the department can
be more effective and responsive; and offer insight and guidance from members’ own experiences and constituencies.

The council members represent a wide variety of natural resource and recreation stakeholders and interest groups. Agenda items are set by the council members, and council recommendations are forwarded to the DNR for consideration.

CAC meetings are open to the public. If you would like to be considered as a future CAC member, please fill out the nomination form found on the DNR website at For more information, contact DNR Upper Peninsula Regional Coordinator Stacy Welling Haughey at 906-228-6561.

This meeting was supposed to take place on Dec. 10, 2012, but was cancelled because of weather and re-scheduled for Jan. 14, 2013.

Editor's Note: Some concerned citizens were not aware of the Dec. 10, 2012, cancellation and met at Michigan Tech in the DNR's absence. Keweenaw Now reported on their concerns. See our Dec. 12, 2012, article, "UPDATED: KBIC elder comments on proposed wolf hunt despite cancellation of DNR meeting."

Natural Resources Commission to meet Jan. 10 in Lansing

The Michigan Natural Resources Commission (NRC) will hold its regular monthly meeting TOMORROW, Thursday, Jan. 10, at the MSU Diagnostic Center for Population and Animal Health, 4125 Beaumont Road, Lansing. All meetings will be held in Room 101 of the center.

The day will begin at 9 a.m. with a meeting of the NRC's Marketing and Outreach Advisory Committee. The committee will receive updates on the Mentored Youth Hunt, webcasting NRC meetings and the Youth Conservation Council. Also on tap are discussions on the ongoing Michigan Waterfowl Legacy program, the 2013 Youth Outdoor Jamboree, and improvements in the state's system for hunting and fishing on-line license sales.

At 10:30 a.m., the Policy Committee on Wildlife and Fisheries will receive reports from the Fisheries and Wildlife division chiefs, including updates on the recently completed elk hunt, and review a land order that would limit access to Kirtland's warbler habitat during nesting. The committee will also receive a status update on wolves following a new law that declared the wolf a game species in Michigan.  Click here to read more ...

Portage Library to host wellness program on essential oils Jan. 10

HOUGHTON -- The Portage Lake District Library will host its monthly program in the Natural Health and Wellness series from 6:30 p.m. to 7:30 p.m. on Thursday, Jan. 10.

Jessica Jukari and Karyn Ruohonen-Rudak will present "Dr. Mom’s Essential Oils First Aid Kit: How to use essential oils to keep your family healthy."

Participants will learn the benefits of and uses for healthy, natural essential oils instead of using over-the-counter medicines. Participants will also learn how to use essential oils for cleaning.

Jukari is a licensed cosmetologist and massage therapist and owner of J. Jukari Spa and Salon. Ruohonen-Rudak is a school counselor and owns a listening and wellness practice in the Jutila Center. Both are mothers of young children.

The Natural Health and Wellness series is held on the second Thursday of each month. All library programs are free, and everyone is welcome. For more information, please call the library at 482-4570 or visit

Houghton County Dems to host Inauguration Party Jan. 19

HANCOCK -- Everyone is invited to the Houghton County Inauguration Party to celebrate President Obama's inauguration. The event starts at 7 p.m. Saturday, Jan. 19, at the Brownstone Hall in Atlantic Mine.

A DJ will play fun music, including music popular in America during inaugurations past. This will be a great evening of music, dancing, conversation, and refreshments.

Early Bird Special

Reserve your tickets by Tuesday, Jan. 15, to get the discounted price of $15 each. Buy tickets now online at or send the Houghton County Democrats a check at the address below to reserve your tickets.

Checks must be received by January 15 to honor the advance ticket price.

Last-minute tickets

After January 15, tickets reserved by mail, purchased online, or at the door will be $20 each.

Here is the office mailing address:
Houghton County Democratic Party
323 Quincy Street, Suite 2
Hancock, MI 49930

Visit the Houghton County Dems on their Web site. Questions? Please email or call (906) 523-1233.

Tuesday, January 08, 2013

Idle No More event to be held in Baraga Jan. 11

On the way to Eagle Rock in solidarity with Idle No More on Friday, Dec. 28, 2012, are, from left, Kathleen Heideman,  Georgenia Earring, Jaimee Loonsfoot, Nancie Lamb, Margaret Boyer, Charlotte Loonsfoot and Dan MacNeil. Another Idle No More event will be held this Friday, Jan. 11, in Baraga. (Photo © and courtesy Jessica Koski. Reprinted with permission.)

BARAGA -- Members of the Keweenaw Bay Indian Community (KBIC) invite supporters of the Idle No More movement to a rally and march beginning at 4 p.m. Friday, Jan. 11, at Ojibwa Community College in Baraga. Participants will walk from the college to the Ojibwa Senior Citizens' Center, where they will have Chile and Corn bread and drumming from 5 p.m. to 6 p.m.

Idle No More calls on all people to join in a revolution that 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. Bring: hand drums, shakers, signs, and regalia. Images of the event will be shared widely in solidarity with the movement.

Editor's Note: Click here and here to read about the Dec. 28 Idle No More visit to Eagle Rock.

Portage Library to offer EBook training sessions Jan. 9, 12

HOUGHTON -- If you received a Kindle or a Nook for the holidays and are still wondering how to use it, join Portage Lake District Library staff for a training session that will teach you how to use your eReader or tablet. You will also learn how to download books from the library’s downloadable books collection.

Two sessions will be offered: Wednesday, Jan. 9, from 6:30 p.m. - 7:30 p.m., and Saturday, Jan. 12, from 1 p.m. - 2 p.m. There will be time for questions and a practice session after the presentation. Bring your eReader and learn a new way to enjoy books.

Library programs and events are free, and everyone is welcome. For more information please call the library at 482-4570 or visit

Monday, January 07, 2013

Portage Library to host local Food Policy Group Jan. 15

HOUGHTON -- The Portage Lake District Library will host the Western U.P. Health Department and the recently established U.P. Food Exchange for an organizational meeting to create a local food policy council from 6 p.m. to 7:30 p.m. on Tuesday, Jan. 15.

Representatives from the U.P. Food Exchange will share information about their successes in the Eastern and Central U.P. They will discuss the viability of local foods and show how investing in local food has had a positive impact in the region. They will also discuss future plans for the U.P. Food Exchange that include establishing an online marketplace to connect producers and consumers, training in season extension, marketing, and outreach.

The presentation will be followed by an opportunity for group dialogue about food production and food access in the Western U.P. and as well as forming a food policy group in our region.

Please RSVP by emailing or by calling (906) 482-7382 ext 114 if you are planning to attend.

Library programs and events are free and everyone is welcome. For more information, please call the library at 482-4570 or visit

From Earthworks: Wisconsin’s Mining Moratorium Under Attack

By Al Gedicks and Dave Blouin*
Posted on EARTHblog Jan. 4, 2013
Reprinted with permission

Wisconsin Governor Scott Walker and the mining industry have begun a major lobbying effort to overturn Wisconsin’s landmark Mining Moratorium Law. The law, also known as Wisconsin’s "Prove it First" law, was developed to address the problem of acid mine drainage from metallic sulfide mining.

The law requires that before the state can issue a permit for mining of sulfide ore bodies, prospective miners must first provide an example of where a metallic sulfide mine in the United States or Canada has not polluted surface or groundwater during or after mining. So far, the industry has not been able to find a single example where they have mined without polluting water. A recent study of metallic sulfide regulation in the Great Lakes region by the National Wildlife Federation called Wisconsin’s "Prove it First" regulation an exemplary law.

Tim Sullivan, chairman of the Wisconsin Mining Association, is leading the effort to repeal the law. Sullivan is the governor’s special assistant for business and workforce development and a past director of the National Mining Association. He is a former president, CEO and director of Bucyrus International, the largest mining machinery company in the world, now owned by Caterpillar Corporation. He recently told a Wisconsin Senate Mining Committee that Wisconsin’s Mining Moratorium was an obstacle to new sulfide mine proposals, including Aquila Resources’ gold and copper sulfide deposits in Marathon and Taylor counties in north central Wisconsin.

Mining lobbyists have cited the "success" of the partially-reclaimed Flambeau metallic sulfide mine in Ladysmith, Wisconsin, which Kennecott/Rio Tinto operated from 1993-97, as a reason for repealing "Prove it First" legislation. However, there is no scientific evidence to support such claims.

The Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources (DNR) recently completed an investigation of water quality at the Flambeau Mine site and recommended that "Stream C," a tributary of the Flambeau River into which Flambeau Mining Company (FMC) has been discharging polluted runoff from the mine site since 1999, be included on its list of "impaired waters" for 2012 for "acute aquatic toxicity" caused by copper and zinc. These illegal discharges of toxic metals are why U.S. District Judge Barbara Crabb recently ruled that FMC violated the Clean Water Act on numerous counts.

Wisconsin is now under a well-funded mining industry attack on the grassroots environmental, sportfishing, and tribal movement which mobilized tens of thousands of Wisconsin citizens to successfully oppose Exxon’s destructive Crandon mine at the headwaters of the Wolf River and enact Wisconsin’s landmark Mining Moratorium Law. That citizen movement also supported the sovereign right of the Mole Lake Ojibwe Tribe to protect itself from any mining pollution upstream from the tribe’s sacred wild rice beds. In 2003, BHP Billiton admitted defeat of the Crandon mine project and sold the mineral rights to the zinc and copper deposit to the Mole Lake Ojibwe and the Forest County Potawatomi Tribe.

Veterans of the 28-year Crandon mine battle were among those who mobilized public opinion against Gogebic Taconite’s (GTac) proposal for a giant open pit iron mine in the headwaters of the Bad River watershed adjacent to the sacred wild rice beds of the Bad River Ojibwe Tribe on the shore of Lake Superior. GTac wrote legislation that exempted itself from critical environmental protections and excluded the public and the tribes from the permitting process. Strong criticism of the Iron Mining bill led to its defeat by one vote in the Wisconsin Senate last spring.

With new GOP majorities in the Wisconsin Legislature, Governor Walker, along with the WMA and Wisconsin Manufacturers and Commerce, has made passage of the Iron Mining Bill and repeal of Wisconsin’s Mining Moratorium Law their top legislative priority in 2013.

Many of the new Republican legislators are unfamiliar with the Crandon mine conflict and the ongoing pollution at the closed Flambeau mine. How else can one explain the disregard for the sovereign rights of the Bad River Ojibwe Tribe, whose sacred wild rice beds and way of life are threatened by mining pollution from GTac’s proposed open pit mine?

The tribe has sovereign authority, under the Clean Water Act, to protect its wild rice from mining pollution. They also have the right to be consulted about any legislation that would affect their treaty rights. So far, these rights have been ignored. Legislators rushing to accommodate the wishes of powerful corporate actors may be in for a painful reminder about the power of engaged citizens and tribes.

* Al Gedicks is the Executive Secretary of the Wisconsin Resources Protection Council, one of the plaintiffs in the successful lawsuit against the Flambeau Mining Company. He is also the author of Resource Rebels: Native Challenges to Mining and Oil Corporations. Dave Blouin is the Mining Committee Chair for the Sierra Club -- John Muir Chapter (WI) and co-founder of the Mining Impact Coalition of Wisconsin.

Editor's Notes:
Visit the Wisconsin Resources Protection Council Web site to learn more about these issues.

Click here to sign a petition to protect Wisconsin's Minin Moratorium (You don't have to be a resident of Wisconsin to sign it.)

See also our Nov. 19, 2011, article about Al Gedicks and the Penokee iron mining project: "Updated: Penokee iron mining proposal threatens Bad River watershed."

Photo: Al Gedicks speaks at Protect the Earth, Eagle Rock, 2009. (Keweenaw Now file photo © and courtesy Gabriel Caplett)

Sunday, January 06, 2013

Nordic Film Series to present "Iris" Jan. 10

HANCOCK -- The Nordic Film Series will present the film Iris (Finland, 2011) at 2 p.m. and 6 p.m. Thursday, Jan. 10, at the Finnish American Heritage Center in Hancock. The film, in Swedish with English subtitles, tells the story of a young girl who leaves her comfortable life in Stockholm for a summer with her mother’s peasant family on Åland. The film is 121 minutes in length.

The Finnish American Heritage Center is at 435 Quincy Street, Hancock. For additional information, contact Hilary Virtanen, programming coordinator for the Finnish American Heritage Center, at 906-487-7505.

Genealogical Society to meet Jan. 8 at Portage Library

HOUGHTON -- The Houghton-Keweenaw County Genealogical Society will meet at 7 p.m. Tuesday, Jan. 8, at the Portage Lake District Library, in Houghton. A group project will be introduced to commemorate the victims of the Italian Hall Disaster. The meeting is open to the public. For further information, call 482-4021, or email

Calumet Library to host 1913 Strike exhibit Jan. 7 - Feb. 1

The "Tumult and Tragedy" traveling exhibit will be on display at the Calumet Public-School Library Jan. 7- Feb. 1. (Poster courtesy Michigan Tech Archives)

CALUMET -- An exhibit exploring labor in Michigan’s historic copper mining district will visit the Calumet Public-School Library in January. "Tumult and Tragedy: Michigan’s 1913-14 Copper Strike," a traveling exhibit created by the Michigan Tech Archives, will be on display from Jan. 7 through Feb. 1.

The library is open to the public Monday: 8 a.m. - 4 p.m., Tuesday: 8 a.m. - 6 p.m., Wednesday: 8 a.m. - 7:30 p.m., Thursday: 8 a.m. - 6 p.m., and Friday: 8 a.m. - 4 p.m.

A special open house will take place Tuesday, Jan. 15. Architectural historian Kim Hoagland will present an illustrated talk titled "Seeberville 1913: Everyday Life in Violent Times" at 6:30 p.m., and the exhibit will be open to visitors. Support for this event is provided by the Friends of the Calumet Public Library.

On July 23, 1913, members of the Western Federation of Miners took to the streets over grievances about pay and working conditions. The strike was marked by violence and tragedy, including the deaths of more than 70 people, mainly children, during a Christmas Eve party at Calumet’s Italian Hall. Local mining companies refused to recognize the union, however; and the strike finally ended in April 1914. The confrontation between organized labor and mining companies affected local residents from all walks of life, created headlines across the nation, and continues to resonate in Michigan’s Copper Country today.

The "Tumult and Tragedy" traveling exhibit consists of 12 panels and includes photographs, excerpts from newspapers, documents, and songs from the strike era. A free giveaway brochure contains links to related web content about the 1913-14 Michigan copper strike online at

The exhibit will remain on display at the Calumet Library through Friday, Feb. 1, and then tour to four other locations in Houghton and Baraga Counties. The exhibit was made possible through a $14,500 grant from the Michigan Humanities Council, an affiliate of the National Endowment for the Humanities. Additional funding was provided by Michigan Technological University, Cranking Graphics, and Dr. Robert and Ruth Nara.

For further information, contact the Michigan Tech Archives at or 906-487-2505, or the Calumet Public-School Library at 906-337-0311, extension 1107.

More photos: Idle No More: Returning to Migizii wa sin (Eagle Rock)

By Michele Bourdieu

A sacred fire on top of Eagle Rock, near Big Bay, provides inspiration and some warmth for participants in the Dec. 28, 2012, visit to the Rock to reclaim it as a sacred Anishinaabe (Ojibwa) site. (Photo © and courtesy Kathleen M. Heideman. Reprinted with permission.)

EAGLE ROCK, MICH. -- Participants in the Dec. 28, 2012, visit to Eagle Rock in solidarity with the Idle No More movement and Chief Theresa Spence, who continues her hunger strike to call attention to First Nations issues of treaty rights and environmental justice in Canada, seemed undaunted by the cold as they climbed through deep snow at the Anishinaabe sacred site, now being used as the portal for Rio Tinto's Eagle Mine.

Carrying signs, supporters of the Idle No More movement climb Eagle Rock on a chilly Dec. 28. (Photo © and courtesy Margaret Boyer. Reprinted with permission.)

Charlotte Loonsfoot, Keweenaw Bay Indian Community (KBIC) member, organized the activity along with Jessica Koski, KBIC mining technical assistant.* Koski recorded a statement by Loonsfoot atop Eagle Rock.

"My main reason for being here is to come pray for Chief Spence," Loonsfoot said. "I just pray that the leaders of the Canadian government will meet with her. It takes a lot of courage, and women are coming to a spiritual time right now and we're feeling our strengths. I think the women of the earth will get a lot done in the future. I pray for everyone in Canada -- they are our brothers and sisters too all the way down to South America. We are all related!"**

Charlotte Loonsfoot (foreground), one of the organizers of the Dec. 28 visit to Eagle Rock, is pictured here with friends Jessica Straczowski and Dan MacNeil at the top of the Rock. (Photo © and courtesy Kathleen M. Heideman. Reprinted with permission.)

Kathleen M. Heideman, artist and writer, posted this comment about the Eagle Rock event on Facebook: "Inside the gates of Rio Tinto's 'Eagle Project' we hiked to the top of Eagle Rock. To the south, a divine terrain of snow and pines, the Yellow Dog watershed and distant blue hills. The sacred promontory of Eagle Rock is penned in on the North, West and East by the new mine, but we tried to stay focused on what remains. Sacred fire, heartfelt wishes for Chief Spence, and many prayerful thoughts of water, earth, air and life. Songs of deer and eagle; songs of healing....!"

A view from atop Eagle Rock. (Photo © and courtesy Kathleen M. Heideman. Reprinted with permission.)

Nancie Lamb of KBIC said she also went to Eagle Rock to show support for Chief Theresa Spence.

"I support what she is doing wholeheartedly because I believe if it doesn't stop now, it's going to happen here on our reservation," Lamb said. "I also went because the Idle NO More people asked that everyone return to their sacred place, and Eagle Rock is one of ours that needs recognition."

Nancie Lamb of KBIC, center, is pictured here at the sacred fire on Eagle Rock Dec. 28. Helping tend the fire are Richard Sloat, left, of Iron River, and Jim Haun, right, of Skanee. (Photo © and courtesy Margaret Boyer. Reprinted with permission.)

Margaret Boyer, from Batchewana Band, Sault Ste. Marie, Ontario, Canada, said she has been following all the news updates about Idle No More since the time it began, and she participated in a 24-hour fast in support of Chief Spence earlier in December.

"Normally I am not an activist of any sorts," Boyer noted, "but while learning about what the Harper government is doing I find myself getting frustrated with what is happening with our lands, with the treaties, and to my people. I am angered by it all -- and with all the activity around the world and in my homeland, I knew that, I, too, had to show my support."

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

Boyer, who is now a student at Keweenaw Bay Ojibwa Community College in Baraga, said Nancie Lamb invited her to join the group for the visit to Eagle Rock.

"My worry is my grandchildren," Boyer said. "How will this affect them? And this is where I get angry and want to fight the cause...What will this leave for them? What will THEIR country be for them when they are growing up?"

Kristi Mills of Big Bay also climbed the Rock along with her young son Tom.

"I was so glad that Tom came with me," Mills said. "He was able to witness a beautiful ceremony rich with prayer, reflection and song. Still tingling from that experience made the announcement about 595 all the sweeter."***

April Lindala, director of the Center for Native American Studies at Northern Michigan University in Marquette and a member of Grand River Six Nations, holds an Idle No More sign on Eagle Rock. Lindala is also a poet and singer and led the group in singing. (Photo © and courtesy Margaret Boyer. Reprinted with permission.)

A view of the decline tunnel (center toward lower left of photo) -- the portal to the Eagle Mine -- that descends under Eagle Rock. (Photo © and courtesy Margaret Boyer. Reprinted with permission.)

*See Jessica Koski's article on this event: "IDLE NO MORE: Returning To Our Sacred Places - Migizii wa sin."
** Click here for an update on Chief Theresa Spence and her hunger strike.
*** On Jan. 3, 2013, the Michigan Department of Environmental Quality (DEQ) announced they would not issue a permit for CR 595, a haul road for the Eagle Mine, because of a complexity of issues concerning impacts to wetlands and streams. Click here for the DEQ letter to the Environmental Protection Agency.