Indigenous Earth Issues Summit at NMU tackles mining

Northern Michigan University hosted the annual Indigenous Earth Issues Summit today. This year’s edition tackled Great Lakes mining activism.

The morning featured presentations on mines that have been proposed for, or currently under construction in, several different areas of the Great Lakes region.

“These mines are going to be impacting our homeland,” NMU permanent part-time instructor Aimee Cree Dunn said. “These mines are going to be impacting the land that has been the home to people for millennia, and for the Anishinaabe at least for centuries, and then for everybody else up here for the last 150 years or so.”

The afternoon session was focused on developing a regional approach to mining in harmony with Lake Superior Anishinaabe communities.

“We had a pre-colonial society that was doing just fine here,” NMU assistant professor of native American studies Dr. Martin Reinhardt said. “It was much more sustainable, and I think if we were to remember our traditions, relearn them and try to live more like our ancestors, that I think we might be around longer.”

Opponents of the Michigan wolf hunt also had a petition to sign. The petition would place a question on the November ballot to repeal Public Act 21, the law that gave the Michigan Natural Resources Commission the authority to decide which animal species would be classified as game in the state.