Tribal activist opposes delisting wolves

Nov 29, 2012

Credit US Fish and Wildlife Service

Ojibwe Tribe member Winona LaDuke opposes removing wolves from the endangered species list. The Minnesota-based environmental activist and former Green Party Vice Presidential candidate visited the University of Wyoming to speak about her book, “The Militarization of Indian County.”

She says that according to Ojibwe tradition, whatever happens to the wolves will happen to the tribe and vice versa. When Minnesota delisted wolves this January, LaDuke says the 837,000-acre White Earth Reservation, where she lives, became a wolf sanctuary. But she says the delisting brought another threat to her people.

“The wolf was delisted in Northern Minnesota, Wisconsin and Michigan at exactly the same time as a whole new set of mining proposals came into our region, largely copper and iron ore. And there’s one thing you don’t want, if you’re gonna mine, you don’t want an endangered species in your way.”

LaDuke says mining also threatens her tribe’s wild rice, which grows in the area’s lakes and rivers and is vulnerable to sulfuric acid, which is associated with mining.