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LaDuke to speak at Protect the Earth gathering

July 29, 2010

This post was provided by Stand for the Land.

Third Annual Protect the Earth

Great Lakes Community Gathering and Annual Walk to Eagle Rock

July 30, 31, August 1

Featuring guest speakes including Winona LaDuke, annual walk to Eagle Rock, workshops, film showings and live entertainment including Joanne Shenandoah.  Organized by Oshkinawe-Ogichidaag Akiing “New Warriors for the Earth” (NWE). Visit for more information.

The third annual Protect the Earth Gathering will be held from July 30 through August 1st on the Pow-wow grounds and at the Keweenaw Bay Ojibwa Community College in Baraga, Michigan.  This year’s events will also include an annual walk from the Yellow Dog River to Eagle Rock on the Yellow Dog Plains.

According to head organizer Jessica Koski (Keweenaw Bay Indian Community Member), “This event will bring together some of the most prominent environmental and indigenous rights leaders from across the region including Winona LaDuke; Al Gedicks; Lee Sprague, clean energy campaign manager for Michigan Sierra Club; and, Stuart Kirsch, and more.

A focused session on mining in the U.P. will present expert perspectives on metallic sulfide mining, treaty rights and Anishinaabe cultural concerns, international movements, and lessons from Wisconsin’s Native-Environmental alliance and grassroots efforts to stop the Crandon Mine.”

Winona LaDuke will be the keynote speaker Friday night and Saturday. LaDuke is from the White Earth reservation in Minnesota.  She is a mother, author, former Green Party vice presidential candidate, Harvard graduate and activist. Winona is a founding director of both the White Earth Land Recovery Program and Honor the Earth.

Grammy Award winning artist Joanne Shenandoah, an Iroquois singer, composer, actress and acoustic guitarist is the featured musical guest.  A Protect the Earth Concert will also include local up-and-coming musician “E”, Wisconsin folksinger Skip Jones, and Ojibwe folksinger Bobbie Bullet.

“Protect the Earth is an opportunity to learn about issues facing the Great Lakes region, including climate change, biomass burning, petro-chemical plants and mining.  It is a time to gather with old and new friends, Native and non-Native, to make our public voice loud and clear on some of the critical issues affecting our communities.

“I hope it leaves people informed, inspired and empowered to make a difference.” said NWE member Kalvin Hartwig (Sault Ste. Marie Chippewa).

Protect the Earth gatherings started in 1986, when the U.S Department of Energy was considering northern Wisconsin as the site for a nuclear waste dump.  Jim Schlender, of the Great Lakes Indian Fish and Wildlife Commission organized a rally in opposition of the proposal, and the first rally was held at the Mole Lake Reservation in Wisconsin.  The rally brought awareness to the DOE’s proposal, but also helped bring together people from all walks of life to work toward a common goal.  From that day forward Protect the Earth became an important tradition in Wisconsin and played a very important role in the battle to protect the land and water from metallic sulfide mining.

In 2008, the Protect the Earth was handed over to citizen leaders in Michigan’s Upper Peninsula. New Warriors for the Earth (NWE) will carry on the tradition this year in 2010.  NWE is a new Native and non-Native environmental organization dedicated to educating and empowering our communities to take action to protect Aki, Mother Earth.  Its mission is to raise awareness about mining and other social-ecological injustices facing the Upper Great Lakes region and Mother Earth.

So, we welcome you to please join us again this year for the 3rd Annual Protect the Earth in Michigan’s beautiful UP.  We have a wonderful fun-filled, action-packed weekend planned; including workshops and presentations, music, a film screening, food, prayer and a walk to Eagle Rock (don’t forget to bring your wild blueberry buckets!).”

A schedule, directions and lodging information can be found at

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