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PAGE3MAZINAIGANSPRINGSUMMER2013TREATYOBLIGATIONSMININGTreatyobligationsandtrustresponsibilityAcallforactionByMichaelJ.IshamJr.GLIFWCChairmanLacCourteOreillesReservationWis.Trustrespon-sibilityisatermIhavebeenhearingalotthesedays.Triballeadersfromaroundourregionandfromaroundthecountryhavebeencallinguponthefederalgovernmenttohonoritstrustresponsibilitytowardtribes.IhavewitnessedthisinanumberofvenuesandonanumberofissuesatmeetingsoftheEPAsRegionalTribalOperationsCommitteeinrelationtowaterqualityairqualityandhabitatprotectioninstateandfederalmeetingsandwrit-tentestimonyinrelationtoprotectingourbrotherMaiinganandinmeetingswithfederalandCongressionalofficialsinrelationtoadequatefundingfortribalnaturalresourceandenvironmentalmanagementprogramstonamebutafewexamples.WhatdoestrustresponsibilityreallymeanItisatermthateasilyrollsoffthetonguebecauseweinIndiancountryknowhowimportantitistocontinuallyremindthefederalgovernmentofpromisesandcommitmentsthatremainjustasvalidtodayaswhentheyweremademanyyearsago.Trustresponsibilityseemstobeunderstoodinconceptbymanyinthefederalgovernmentbutunderstoodinpracticebyfew.Thequestionbegshowdowetellthefederalgovernmentandotherswhattrustresponsibilitymeansintermsofac-tionintermsofgettingsomethingdonethathelpstribesmeettheirpriorityneedsTometrustresponsibilitymeansthatthefederalgovernmentmusttakespe-cificactionstoupholdanddefendtheobligationsitassumedinsigningtreatieswithmytribeLacCourteOreillesandothertribesinthisregion.ForexampletheTreatyof1837guaranteestothetribestherighttohuntfishandgatherinourcededterritories.Itguaranteesthatwecancontinueourlong-heldlifewaysandusetheresourcesaswehavesincetimeimmemorial.Thesametypesofguaran-teesarepartofthetreatiesandotherdocumentsthatestablishedourreservations.Manyequatethefulfillmentofthesetreatyobligationstothefulfillmentoftrustresponsibilities.Somesuggestthatspecifictreatyobligationsareasubsetofthegeneraltrustresponsibility.Ifindthistypeoflegaleseconfusingandunhelpful.TomeobligationscontainedintreatiesthattheUSConstitutionconsidersasthesupremelawofthelandaremorepowerfulthanageneraltrustresponsibilitythatwasdefinedbythecourts.Bysigningthesetreatiesthefederalgovernmenttookonspecificobligationsandcommittedtomakinggoodonspecificguarantees.Treatyobligationsgobeyondadutytoconsultwithtribesonagovernment-to-governmentbasis.Theygobeyondapplyingsomesortofbalancingtestthatmerelytakestribalinputintoaccountbutthatdoesnotguaranteedecisionsthattrulyprotecttribalinterests.Treatyobligationsrequiremuchmore.TheyrequirethefederalgovernmenttoaffirmativelyactnotsitidlybywhileAkiisbeingdestroyed.Theyrequirespecificactionsanddecisionstoprotectanddefendourrighttohuntfishandgathernaturalresourcesincludingtoensurethattreatyresourcesarenon-toxichealthyandabundant.Treatyobligationsmeanthatthegovernmentmustdenyapermitforminingactivitiesforexamplethatwillpolluteandpoisontreatyresourcesaswellasdestroyvaluabletreaty-protectedhabitat.Theyalsomeanthatthefederalgovern-mentmustensurethattribeshavesufficientfinancialresourcesandexpertisetodeterminetheimpactsofparticularproposalsontribalrightsandinterestsaswellastobefullparticipantsinalldecisionsthataffectthem.TounderstandtrustresponsibilityIchoosenottogettangledupintheoreti-calconceptsanddiscussions.InsteadIlooktothespecifictermsofthetreatiesthemselves.Theyprovidethefoundationandthejustificationforfederalactionnotinactionandlipservice.Thereneedbenoothersourceoflawtoprovidethatauthorityorimpetustoact.AfterallastheConstitutionmakescleartreatiesarethesupremelawoftheland.OdanahWis.FromtheYel-lowDogPlainswesttotheArrowheadregionmininginitiativesareinplayacrossthecededterritory.Influencedbyweatherregulationsandmarketforcesplansforextractingironoretaconiteandothermetalsincludingcopperzincandnickelremaininvariousstagesofdevelopment.MiningspecialistswithGLIFWCTribesandgrass-rootsorga-nizationsaretrackingminingactivityinthefieldandinpublicforums.Theresamajorpushinthecededterritoryandadjacentregionsfrommin-ingcompaniestoidentifyanddeveloporebodiesAnnMcCammon-SoltisGLIFWCpolicyanalystsaid.Legalandenvironmentalstaffaremonitoringthismodernminingboomandthepotentialthreatstonaturalresourcesthattribalmembersrelyupon.NeartheKennecottEagleMineinnorth-centralUpperMichigananewwaterqualitymonitoringprogramintheYellowDogandSalmonTroutwa-tershedsisunderway.TheKeweenawBayIndianCommunityKBIChelpedbrokeracooperativeagreementwiththeUSGeologicalServiceonafour-yearstudytomeasureimpactsfromnotonlyminingbutassociatedactivityincludingroadconstructionheavytrucktrafficandtheoperationoflargeaindustrialfacilitywhichsprawlsover100acresofbulldozedsandplains.AquifersoftheYellowDogPlainsdischargetoformseveralpristineriverssaidKBICPresidentWarrenC.Swartz.MiningactivitiesmaydiminishtheinherentvalueoftheCommunitys1842Treatyrightsandputthehealthandwelfareofthepublicinjeopardyforgenerationstocome.SwartzsaidthewatermonitoringprogramincludesthesupportoftheHuronMountainClubandtheYellowDogWatershedPreservebothlocatednearBigBay.MeanwhileKennecottofficialsannouncedapullbackoncompletingconstructionandbeginningoperationoftheundergroundEagleMine.Withmineralpricesexpectedtostaysup-pressedinthecomingyearKennecottispositioningproductionofnickelandcopperforthesecondhalfof2014.AttheOrvanaResourcesminesitedubbedCopperwoodnearMichiganswesternGichigamishorelinecompanymanagerscontinueworkingthroughthestateapplicationprocess.AnticipatingstateapprovalOrvanastatedthemineshouldbeoperationalsometimenextyear.InarepeatperformancefromthepreviouslegislativesessiontheWiscon-sinAssemblyexecutedaparty-linevoteonminingregulationslargelyauthoredbyminingcompanyGogebicTaconite.Withaslimpro-minemajorityin2013lawmakerspassedtheAB1SB1IronMiningBillafterlimitedpublicoppor-tunitytoprovideinput.OnMarch11GovernorScottWalkersignedthebillintolawwhichallowsfillingstreamsandlakeswithminewastematerial.ThebillalsostripstheDepartmentofNaturalResourcesfromauthoritytohaltminingoperationsevenintheeventofanim-mediateandsubstantialthreattopublichealthandsafetyortheenvironmentcreatingahurdletoswiftremediationinemergencysituations.AlatesnowmeltinthePenokeeHillswhereGogebicTaconitepro-posestoconstructtheworldslargestopenpitironminedelayedtestdrill-ingupto1200-feettobetterdefinetheorebody.Companyofficialsannouncedplanstodiguplargerbulksamplesofrocklaterintheyear.TheBadRiverTribecreatedalegaldefensefundinthewakeofrecentde-velopmentstominethePenokeedepositwhichliesjustsixmilesupriverfromthereservation.Formoreinformationseewww.badriver-nsn.gov.TribeswhichsubmittedcommentsontheEnvironmentalImpactStatementfortheproposedPolymetmineinMin-nesotaarelookingforwardtoareviseddocumentslatedforreleasethissummer.Situatedintheheartofthe1854cededterritoryminingatthesitedominatedbycopperoreraisesanumberofenvi-ronmentalconcernsincludingimpactstoover1000acresofwetlands.ByCharlieOttoRasmussenStaffWriterCopperironorebigdrawsforminingcorporationsBadRiversEdithLeososupportsnieceJadeasshetestifesatalisteningsessioninAshlandregardingtheWisconsinAB1SB1IronMiningBill.AgroupofstatelegislatorsorganizedtheFebruary10gatheringwhichdrewmorethan200participants.AB1SB1loosensmanyenvironmentalprotectionsandultimatelybecamelawonapartylinevote.PhotobyCharlieOttoRasmussen