We are all invited to share in this Thanksgiving with those who have been keeping the welcoming fires burning at Harvest Educational Learning Project (HELP) in the Penokees at 3PM Central Time today.
I bet we’ll hear some discussion of what’s got the internet abuzz this week: criminal charges facing Bill Williams following his involvement in the polluting Cobre Las Cruces Mine.
(More on that from Woodsperson).
Bill Williams is the President of Gogebic Taconite, an iron-ore mining company based in Florida which successfully lobbied the Scott Walker administration to change Wisconsin’s laws to accommodate development of a 22 mile long open pit mine upstream from sacred Bad River Tribe rice beds, the city of Ashland, and the world’s largest body of fresh water – Lake Superior.
From Paul DeMain at Indian Country News:
“Join IndianCountryTV.com for “Giving Thanks in the Penokees” a LIVE Broadcast of friends and relatives gathering at the Harvest Educational Learning Project (HELP) Village located in the Penokee Mountains Heritage Park of Northern, Wisconsin and upstream from the Bad River Ojibwe wild rice beds and walleye spawning ground of Lake Superior.”
If you would like to contribute to the educational efforts of HELP, it’s very easy. You can donate online through their Fundrazr link or send a check or money order made out to:
Harvest Camp/HELP c/o NAET, Inc (501c3)
PO Box 1500
Hayward, Wisconsin 54843
If you’re new to the concept of the harvest camp, here’s some background from the Lac Courte Oreilles (LCO) web site:
The Lac Courte Oreilles Harvest and Educational Camp is on county land and covered by ceded territory hunting, fishing and harvesting rights. The entire titled region that Gogebic Taconite (Gtac), RGGS, LaPointe Mining owns on the 22 mile ore deposit is enrolled in the State Forest Management Tax Credit program and is therefore guided by state agreements with the tribes regarding harvesting. Check with your tribal conservation department about harvesting permits. Some sections on the west end are in national forest lands, and others in Iron County are entirely surrounded by county lands.
The camp will be overseen by several LCO harvesters organized loosely by Melvin Gasper and Felina LaPointe. Harvesting on public lands is not constrained to just treaty harvest but includes harvestable products by non-Natives as well. We will be looking to include elders and youth, school, college, AODA, language immersion, rehab and business development programs — asking the question, how can we learn about the ancient Cahokia history of the range, Ojibwe village and burial locations, and the mining that has occurred over the course of 1,200 years including the geography, topography located there. What can be harvested, from berries to iron wood and used or bartered to assist in making a moderate living as defined by courts under treaties with the Chippewa. Many of us are also descendants of past Allottees in the area. Researchers have so far located over 150 Indian Allotments on the ore deposit issued from 1858 through 1887. For example, John B. Corbin had an 80 acre allotment near Copper Falls State Park. We want to know how this land was disenfranchised from our relatives.