For more information on background of issues:
4, 1989 - MTN is founded on Tom Maulson's pontoon boat in Flambeau
Lake, Lac du Flambeau Chippewa Reservation. Among the founding groups
are the Wa-Swa-Gon Treaty Association (Lac du Flambeau), Madison Treaty
Rights Support Group, Milwaukee Witness for Nonviolence, Twin Cities Witness
for Nonviolence, Citizens for Treaty Rights (Vilas County), Lake Superior
Greens (Red Cliff), Indian Treaty Rights Committee (Chicago). The same
weekend, Lac du Flambeau gillnetters are attacked, and Chippewa are jeered
at a parade in nearby Minocqua.
1989 - Gillnetting carried out on lakes around Lac du Flambeau,
opposed by Project Americans' Rights and Resources (PARR) and Stop Treaty
1989 - Witness Report on Spring spearfishing season released to
Wisconsin Equal Rights Council, documenting racist harassment, sniper
fire, wrist rocket attacks, pipe bombs, rock-throwing, death threats,
boat wakes and blockades, vehicle attacks, and other mob violence against
Chippewa spearers and their families, with inadequate response from police
1989 - Lac du Flambeau and Mole Lake voters reject a lease of their
treaty rights, proposed by Administration Secretary James Klauser (a former
Exxon lobbyist), and opposed by MTN groups.
1990 - Minneapolis American Indian Center hosts treaty gathering
and MTN strategy meeting.
1990 - Walt Bresette, Tom Maulson and Andrew Gokee speak out for
spearing security at press conference, as Witness trainings draw hundreds
throughout Wisconsin, Minnesota, Illinois and Iowa.
1990 - MTN coordinates Witness for Nonviolence during nighttime
spearfishing season, which protesters confront with continuing gunfire,
mob violence, vehicle assaults, bomb threats, and on-water harassment
and blockades, particularly in Vilas and Oneida counties. Witnesses form
cordons around spearing families and drums. International Days of Support
for Wisconsin Indians marked by rallies in Stevens Point, and at U.S.
embassies/ consulates in Vienna, London, Oslo, and Montreal. Sacred run
from Pipestone, Minnesota, welcomed at Lac du Flambeau.
1990 - MTN pro-treaty rally draws hundreds to State Capitol and
Department of Natural Resources (DNR) in Madison.
1990 - Lac du Flambeau elder Dorothy Thoms testifies on treaty
crisis at United Nations hearing in Geneva.
1990 - Intertribal spearfishing in Iron County disrupted by police,
who arrest two with Indian flag.
1990 - MTN releases Witness report to legislative committee, documenting
279 acts of violence, racist acts, or police inaction during 1990 Spring
spearing season, including near-riot at Star Lake.
1991 - First gathering held to oppose Lynne zinc mine, planned
near Willow River fish spawning bed by Canadian company Noranda, 30 miles
south of Lac du Flambeau.
1991 - Federal Judge Crabb issues first injunction against STA
harassment. MTN responds to STA pamphlet with "Wisconsin Treaties: What's
the Problem," distributed throughout the ceded territory.
1991 - MTN coordinated Witness for Nonviolence, documenting shrinkage
of anti-treaty movement to hard-core militants, who escalate harassment.
Largely imported PARR crowds assaults Chippewa family, African American
witness and others at Sand Lake. International Day of Support includes
pro-treaty rallies in Madison, London, Vienna, Brussels, and Prague. Concert
with John Trudell and Floyd Westerman raises funds for Lac Courte Oreilles
fight against Ladysmith mine.
1991 - MTN helps bring people to Ladysmith rally against Kennecott/RTZ
mine, on Flambeau River in Rusk County.
1991 - Pro-treaty picket greets Wisconsin Governor Tommy Thompson
during his trade mission in Vienna, Austria.
1991 - MTN works with Wisconsin 1992 Alliance to oppose renaming
of Highway 151 as Columbus Quincentenary Highway.
1992 - Public educational campaign started on David Duke and Ku
Klux Klan activity in Wisconsin. MTN backs sovereign rights of tribes
to regulate gaming.
1992 - Rally against Noranda mine draws 50 people to mine site;
MTN develops brochure with Wisconsin Resources Protection Council (WRPC);
company withdraws under local and state pressure.
1992 - MTN coordinates Witness for Nonviolence, opposes lessening
of police security; documents evident decline of PARR/STA. First relatively
peaceful spearing season since legal spearing returned in 1985.
1992 - MTN coordinates Wisconsin support for Peace & Dignity Journeys
run, on its way from Alaska to Mexico. It passes through St. Croix, Lac
Courte Oreilles, Lac du Flambeau, Potawatomi, Menominee, and Oneida.
1992 - Peace & Dignity run arrives at Teotihuacan pyramids near
Mexico City, led by 13-year-old Adrian King from Lac du Flambeau, and
meets up with South American runners. Tom Maulson elected Lac du Flambeau
1992 - "Stop the Plunder of Native Lands" conference held at Treehaven
Center near Tomahawk to unite anti-mining groups, to protect Flambeau,
Willow and Wolf rivers. Infiltrator later spreads false anonymous accounts
of conference to newspapers.
1993 - MTN sponsors anti-mining alliance gathering at Lac du Flambeau.
1993 - Anishinabe Liberation Front and 37-55 Treaty Alliance invites
MTN to Mille Lacs Lake, where DNR cites three elders for attempted spearfishing.
Witnesses come from the Twin Cities, Madison, and elsewhere.
1993 - MTN coordinates 8th annual Protect the Earth Gathering at
Lac du Flambeau, bringing hundred to workshops, discussions, concert,
and Gathering of the Waters. Ladysmith mine opens the same weekend in
1994 - MTN produces brochure with WRPC on Crandon zinc-copper mine
proposed by Exxon/Rio Algom near Mole Lake Sokaogon Chippewa Reservation;
about 60,000 printed by Oneida Nation.
1994 - MTN hosts emergency statewide rally against Exxon mine at
State Capitol; 400 marchers follow drum to DNR, and circle-dance around
Wisconsin Manufacturers and Commerce (WMC) headquarters. Native Americans,
environmentalists, and sportfishers unite to oppose Exxon mine near Wolf
1994 - MTN coordinates 9th annual Protecting Mother Earth Conference
at Mole Lake, in conjunction with the Indigenous Environmental Network
(IEN) Protect the Earth Gathering, bringing 1000 attendees in all. A spiritual
walk goes to mine site, children hold their own protest, and people mix
water in a ceremony. The Wisconsin Review Commission (WRC) holds a citizens'
hearing on the track records of Exxon and Rio Algom, with testifiers from
Alaska, Colombia, Ontario, and New Mexico.
1994 - Religious leaders question Wisconsin DNR's confiscation
of eagle feathers from a Native American man.
1994 - MTN endorses protest at nuclear plant at Prairie Island
Dakota reservation, on Minnesota side of Mississippi River, to oppose
nuclear waste storage.
1995 - MTN launches public education campaign on Menominee treaty
rights, as PARR/STA tries to mobilize sportfishers against Menominee treaty
suit in Wolf River watershed region.
1995 - WRC panel, chaired by Wisconsin Secretary of State, Douglas
LaFollette, releases its "Report on Track Records of Exxon and Rio Algom,"
on the sixth anniversary of the Exxon Valdez oil spill.
1995 - Kids for Clean Water hold Youth Intercultural Environmental
Awareness Gathering at Keshena, along Wolf River in Menominee Nation.
MTN works with Menominee, Mining Impact Coalition, and Milwaukee vets
1995 - Healing of Nations Gathering at Lac du Flambeau against
Colorado developer's plans to build homes on Strawberry Island burial
site of a Chippewa-Dakota battle. MTN assists with public outreach on
Strawberry Island protection.
-May 1996 - MTN initiates Wolf Watershed Educational Project (WWEP)
speaking tour on Exxon mine, goes to 22 towns along Wolf and Wisconsin
rivers, drawing 1,000 to Rhinelander rally on May 4 at proposed site of
mine pipeline discharge into Wisconsin River.
1996 - Witness for Nonviolence monitors dispute on Keweenaw Bay
Ojibwa reservation in Michigan's Upper Peninsula.
1996 - MTN Northwest Wisconsin office aids Bad River blockade of
train carrying sulfuric acid to White Pine Mine in U.P.
1996 - WWEP skills training weekend was held Sept. 13-15 on Menominee
1996 - Crandon mine opponents try to stop Local Agreements between
Exxon and Forest County local governments.
1997 - WWEP counters Exxon PR campaign with radio ads, information
on anti-union track records. Wisconsin State Senate passes Sulfide Mining
1997 - Witness for Nonviolence reactivated for spearing/netting
around Mille Lacs in 1837 Ojibwe-ceded territory, east-central Minnesota.
Witness trainings in Minneapolis, Duluth, Ashland, Madison, and Eau Claire.
In Wisconsin, Nashville voters choose a new Town Board critical of the
Local Agreement for Exxon's Crandon mine.
1997 - MTN calls for peaceful resolution of occupation of Mole
Lake tribal offices.
White Pine acid mining project cancelled in U.P. Michigan.
1997 - WWEP holds rally for Illinois tourists against sulfide mining
at the Wisconsin Tourism Bureau in Chicago. Circle Tour against sulfide
mining launched around Wisconsin. Unionists form Committee of Labor Against
Sulfide Pollution (CLASP)
-Sept. 1997 - WWEP Circle Tour reaches over 20 communities around
Wisconsin. Pro-mining Wise Use groups People for Wisconsin (PFW) and Coalition
for Fair Regulation (CFR) formed. PFW/CFR lead industry backlash against
grassroots environmental movement.
1997 - Anti-treaty federal court appeal fails in Minnesota.
1997 - Over 1000 attend Mining Moratorium bill hearing in Milwaukee--two-thirds
for a Moratorium. CLASP leaflets mining equipment factories and visits
union locals in city to counter industry propaganda.
1997 - MTN co-sponsors Native Health and Sovereignty Symposium
in Milwaukee, with the Committee on Women, Population, and the Environment
1997 - MTN calls for Governor Thompson to drop demand that tribes
weaken their environmental standards and treaty rights in exchange for
gaming compact renewal.
1998 - Exxon turns over Crandon mine project to Rio Algom partner.
Rio Algom's Nicolet Minerals Co. replaces Crandon Mining Co.
1998 - Wisconsin Senate and Assembly overwhelming pass a strengthened
Mining Moratorium Bill after nearly successful attempts to gut it.
1998 - Witnesses for Nonviolence go to Mille Lacs, Minnesota to
monitor intertribal spearfishing; only one incident of rock-throwing reported.
Wisconsin Governor Thompson signs Moratorium bill.
1998 - Protect The Earth Journey walks 320 miles from Red Cliff
Reservation on Lake Superior to the State Capitol in Madison, to back
a "Seventh Generation Amendment." Nashville town chairman Chuck Sleeter
beats back recall challenge from pro-mining candidate.
1998 - MTN backs Wisconsin Ho-Chunk claim to part of former Badger
Army Ammunition Plant in Sauk County.
1998 - Over 200 attend WWEP Capitol rally in a downpour, to demand
DNR enforcement of the Mining Moratorium Law. MTN co-sponsors Midwestern
CWPE conference "Dangerous Intersections: Women's Perspectives on Population,
Immigration, Prisons, and the Environment."
1998 - Treaty Run from Lac du Flambeau to the Supreme Court in
Washington D.C., which hears the Mille Lacs treaty case December 2.
Dec. 1998 - Police raid and destroy protest camp that for four
months had occupied a Mdewakanton Dakota sacred site threatened by a Minneapolis
Jan. 1999 - WWEP opposes new Rio Algom plans to keep and process
wastes at the Crandon mine site, and to submit three "example mines" to
meet criteria of the Moratorium law.
Feb. 1999 - WWEP supports Nashville lawsuit to overturn Local Agreement,
and opposes state lawsuit to overturn federal Clean Water Act authority
for Mole Lake.
MTN co-founder Walt Bresette pases on.
1999 - Menominee tribal member Ingrid Washinawatok, two other indigenous
rights supporters assassinated by Colombian gunmen. Mille Lacs Ojibwe
win treaty case in Supreme Court.
1999 - Nashville town board wins another election against pro-mine
candidates. Wisconsin loses suit against Mole Lake water authority.
1999 - Mining company sues Town of Nashville.
1999 - MTN supports Lakota/Dakota stand at White Clay, Nebraska
(against murders and alcohol sales) and La Framboise Island, South Dakota
(against the Mitigation Act's transfer of Missouri River treaty lands
to the state).
1999 - Lake Superior defenders demand clean-up of coal tar in Ashland.
Milton, Wisc. drops Redmen mascot after years of struggle. Minneapolis
police again attack Dakota protesters against Highway 55.
1999 - Federation of Fly Fishers declares Wolf River the #1 endangered
1999 - MTN opposes construction of Duluth-Wausau powerline, using
hydro electricity from Manitoba Cree lands, crossing Lac Courte Oreilles
Ojibwe lands, and powering the proposed Crandon mine next to Mole Lake
Ojibwe lands. WI Natural Resources Board holds Sturgeon Bay hearing on
Mining Moratorium rules.
1999 - WWEP rally against proposed transmission line to the Crandon
mine draws 100 in Monico, on proposed line route.
Oct. 1999 - Forest County Potawatomi win federal Clean Air status.
Nov. 1999 - WWEP rally against proposed transmission line to the
Crandon mine draws 100 in Monico, on proposed line route.
Dec. 1999 - Indigenous peoples join Seattle protests against the
World Trade Organization (WTO). Natural Resources Board refuses to order
rules for Wisconsin mining moratorium. Court rules in favor of Nashville
suit against mine local agreement. Police raid and destroy Mendota Dakota
spiritual camp on Hwy. 55 route in Minneapolis.
Jan. 2000 - Voters in Milton, WI, reject recall of school board
that changed "Redmen" school team name to "Red Hawks."
2000 - After European mine disaster, WWEP and four other groups
call for cyanide ban at Crandon.
Wisconsin Assembly hearing held on AB 217 to ban school mascots.
2000 - 100 rally in Keshena (Menominee Nation) to protect the Wolf
River from mining. 750 attend student-led rally at State Capitol in Madison
to stop proposed Crandon mine, transmission lines, and Perrier water mining;
rally culminates WWEP schools speaking tour.
2000 - St. Cloud police raid Native studies student protest in
2000 - MTN joins other groups in asking Wisconsin to change derogatory
"squaw" place names.
2000 - "Walk to Remember" completes 57-day, 1,200-mile sacred journey
around Lake Superior, following vision of the late Walt Bresette. MTN
backs Ho-Chunk opposition to Perrier springwater pumping plans near sacred
sites in Big Springs, Adams County WI.
2000 - MTN holds rally at Canadian Consulate in Chicago, opposing
Canadian attacks on Mikmaq treaty fishing rights, and Canadian mining
plans in Wisconsin.
MTN supports Mi�kmaq fishing rights struggle in New Brunswick, holds Chicago
rally at Canadian Consulate.
2000 London-based South African company Billiton buys out Rio Algom,
owner of Crandon mine site. State court hearing on Nashville local agreement,
attended by vice presidential candidate Winona La Duke and the Indigo
2000 WWEP/SOUL rally against mine/transmission line at PSC hearing
11/28 noon, Rhinelander Holiday Inn.
2001 President Clinton denies clemency to Leonard Peltier. President
Bush names Gale Norton as Interior Secretary.
2001 Scott McCallum becomes new WI governor. WI Assembly Bill 95
introduced to ban cyanide in mining. Senate Bill 24 introduced to ban
"squaw" in WI place names.
2001 Citizens' Assembly held in Madison to unite opponents of corporate
rule in WI.
March 2001 State Judge Janine Geske overturns Nashville recession of Crandon
mine local agreement. Billiton merges with Australian mining giant BHP.
Citizens' Assembly held in Madison to unite opponents of corporate rule
in WI, draws over 150.
2001 Student Mine Summit held at Mole Lake Reservation near Crandon
2001 WI Senate Environment Committee votes for cyanide ban in mining.
BHP merges with Billiton; Australians rally against Crandon mine at BHP
2001 Majority of Wisconsinites in poll oppose Crandon mine, cyanide
2001 Public Service Commission approves Wausau-Duluth transmission
line, but not feeder line to Rhinelander/Crandon. MTN backs proposal for
"Walt Bresette Memorial Highway" in Iron County, WI, on stretch of Hwy.
122 "adopted" by KKK.
2001 WWEP launches Wisconsin speaking tour on cyanide in mining.
2001 WI Senate passes SB-160 to ban cyanide in mining, and SB-271
to end special treatment for mining industry. "Native Voices for
the Wolf River" benefit in Madison for the Town of Nashville.
2002 Statewide rally at State Capitol for mining bills draws 100,
WI Assembly Environment Committee Chairman blocks bills.
2002 BHP Billiton approaches the State of Wisconsin about purchasing
the Crandon mine site. Environmental and conservation groups and tribes
proposed public acquisition and joint state-tribal-local management of
the 4,800-acre site, as a permanent and inclusive solution to the minng
2002 Gov. McCallum pulls out of site purchase talks with company,
which lays off staff at NMC subsidiary in Crandon. Mine permit process
2002 Governor-elect James Doyle promises to reopen mine acquisition
2003 Cyanide Ban and No Special Treatment bills reintroduced in
Republican-led Wisconsin Legislature.
2003 Nicolet Minerals Co. sold to Northern Wisconsin Resource Group,
owned by Connor logging family that originally sold much of the mine site
land to Exxon in 1970s.
2003 Forest County Potawatomi and Mole Lake Sokaogon Chippewa
purchase and divide the Crandon mine site for $16.5 million, take control
of mining company, and drop the mine permit application. 28-year Crandon
mine battle comes to an end, in a way that protects the 5,000-acre site's
natural and cultural resources.
2003 Native and student groups protest racist school play "Little
Mary Sunshine" in Viroqua, Wis.
2003 MTN among groups honored by Mole Lake and Potawatomi at Celebration
Powwow in Green Bay.
Mole Lake forms Wolf River Protection Fund to help pay off its $8 million
debt from the Crandon mine site purchase.
2004 Madison referendum defeats Ho-Chunk proposal to expand its
DeJope bingo hall into a casino, after local movement organizes against
tribal gaming (without similarly criticizing non-Indian or state gaming).
2004 Menominee Nation and Trout Unlimited defeat proposal for
springwater bottling plant in Polar, Wis., in Langlade County upstream
from the Little Wolf River.
2004 Osseo-Fairchild school board votes to revamp its Indian
logo to specify a Ho-Chunk image, despite opposition from a Ho-Chunk
Nation resolution and many local Indian and non-Indian residents and
2004 MTN receives the "Allies for Justice Award" from
the Headwaters Foundation for Justice in Minneapolis, for its role in
defeating the Crandon mine.
2004 Lake Superior Ojibwe mark the 150th anniversary of the LaPointe
Treaty of 1854 with a "Treaty Gathering" on sacred Madeline
2004 WWEP begins educational work on the possible revival of
proposals for an underground nuclear waste repository in the granite
bedrock of the Wolf River Batholith.
2005 MTN holds Nationhood Gathering at Sokaogon Chippewa Community
in Mole Lake, WI.