Legislative committees this week are scheduled to take up a Republican bill that could help open a large taconite mine in northern Wisconsin, but lawmakers are being taken to task, for not extensively consulting with the Bad River Chippewa tribe.
Bad River Tribal Chairman Mike Wiggins has sent a letter to state lawmakers, saying they've failed to engage in government-to-government consultation with the tribe about the mining bill, and the taconite mine that would be built close to tribal lands. Milwaukee attorney Dennis Grzezinski is helping represent the Bad River tribe. He says 19th-century federal treaties set up the consultation process to try to guarantee Chippewa rights and resources would be protected. “It's not a telegram, not a phone call: it's folks getting together and discussing and conversing about issues between the nations.”