You are on page 1of 2

ONEIDA TRIBE OF INDIANS OF WISCONSIN Position Statement in Opposition to Gogebic Taconite Iron Mine And Proposed Changes to State

Mining Laws The Oneida Tribe stands with our northern relatives, the Bad River and Lac Du Flambeau Bands of Lake Superior Chippewa Indians, and the residents of northern Wisconsin in opposition to the proposed Gogebic Taconite Iron open pit iron mine. The construction and operation of the mine will destroy the natural world around it, pollute the waters that provide subsistence for both Indians and non-Indians and end Wisconsin’s longstanding traditions of protecting its natural resources. The facts are clear. More than 75% of the Superfund sites in the United States are closed mine sites. No mine has been closed safely without polluting the waters. These facts demonstrate to us that the proposed Gogebic Taconite Iron Mine fails to meet our basic level of protection for all people, wildlife and their natural habitat. The Oneida Tribe is committed to upholding our original instructions to care for and protect our Mother Earth for all time. We are born with the responsibility to leave this place better than we found it, to uphold the next seven generations philosophy, and promote sustainability in our daily decisions. The Oneida Tribe also opposes the proposed changes to the state’s mining laws. Proponents of these changes identify the creation of jobs as their justification. However, the adverse impacts of mining activities are widespread and long lasting. Permitting decisions must ensure that human health, the environment, indigenous ways of life and other industries that provide jobs are all protected. The proposed changes to the state’s mining laws and regulations significantly diminish these imperatives and allow harm that will afflict all residents of the state for generations. These harms include: ● Inappropriate assignment of the costs. The costs of the permitting process and reclamation activities will be shifted from mining companies to the general public. ● Loss of transparency. The process will become less open and transparent, and interested parties will be denied access to relevant information. ● Severe limitation of public participation and input. Public participation will be thwarted through arbitrary deadlines, the denial of contested case hearings that are necessary to test the validity of information and assumptions and the denial of citizen lawsuits that allow the public to demand compliance with permit requirements. ● Destruction of the environment. Wetlands, pristine waters, woodlands, and archeological areas will lose protection.

● Job Loss. Tourism and recreation-based jobs related to hunting, fishing, camping, and other outdoor activities will be lost. – end –