Ho-Chunk Members Call For Coalition Against Frac Sand Mining
Richard Kremer, Wisconsin Public Radio
Tribal members of the Ho-Chunk nation are calling for native and non-native people to band together to stop frac sand mining.
About 30 people gathered in Black River falls to hear speakers talking about how frac sand mining can lead to environmental damage and possible health problems. The meeting was organized by Andi Cloud, who founded Migizi Advocates for Turtle Island. She says to successfully fight the powerful and wealthy frac sand mining industry, people of all stripes need to band together.
“That’s the only way we’re going to be successful is that if we all come together, whether you are a Ho-Chunk, whether you are Ojibwe, whether you are white, just everybody who cares about Mother Earth, who wants to keep her as she is now without all this devastation of contamination.”
Retired sociology professor and mining activist Al Gedicks was among the speakers on the panel. He compared the fight over frac sand mining to the battle over the proposed Crandon sulfide ore mine in the 1990s.
Gedicks says when local communities stand up and fight, mining investors get uneasy and pull out. “That’s what killed the Crandon mine project, that is what is killing the hydraulic fracturing industry and that is what will eventually kill the sand mine industry in Wisconsin.”
Ho-Chunk Nation member Bill Greendeer says frac sand mining is ruining life giving land, plants and water and tribal and non tribal people must organize to fight it. “I don’t want to see another mine come in. I don’t want to see another railcar get loaded and haul away our sacred sand.”
Greendeer also said that he’s been talking with other tribes across the state to help build consensus against frac sand mining.
For an audio story go to Wisconsin Public Radio.