Potawatomi open museum and cultural center in Crandon

By Adam Swanson
Green Bay Press-Gazette, Nov. 22, 2002

CRANDON � After years of planning and construction, the permanent exhibit �People of the Three Fires� opened Thursday at the Forest County Potawatomi Community Museum and Cultural Center.

According to Kerry Boyd, design director of the 2,700-square-foot exhibit, many tribal elders helped design the exhibit.

�I think a real important aspect of the exhibit is to give the Potawatomi people a central place to celebrate their art, culture, and history,� Boyd said. �I believe that this exhibit will let outsiders know that the Potawatomi Tribe does have a rich history and culture.�

The exhibit includes interactive displays, artifacts, pictures, arts, crafts, audio samples of language and a special Potawatomi diorama.

The exhibit was dedicated Thursday and included a blessing from tribal elder Billy Daniels Jr.

If you go:

The �People of Three Fires� exhibit will be at the Forest County Potawatomi Community Museum and Cultural Center on Everybody�s Road near Crandon. The museum is open from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. Monday through Friday.


From: Jeff Kelley@EPA


Oct. 2, 1999

Technical Contacts:
    Christine Hansen (FCP) (715) 478-7209
    Marty Burkholder (WDNR) (698) 264-8855
    Neal Baudhuin (WDNR-Northern Region) (715) 365-8958
    Benjamin Giwojna (EPA) (312) 886-0247
Media Contacts:
    Christine Hansen (FCP) (715) 478-7209
    Marty Burkholder (WDNR) (608) 264-8855
    Don de Blasio (EPA) (312) 886-4360

No. 99-OPA296

The Forest County Potawatomi Community (FCP) and the State of Wisconsin have signed an agreement that resolves issues related to U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) proposed Class I air quality redesignation for about 11,000 acres of Potawatomi tribal land in Forest County, WI.

The agreement was signed by Governor Tommy Thompson, Potawatomi Vice-Chair Harold Frank, and EPA Region 5 Administrator Francis X. Lyons.

In February 1995, the FCP requested that EPA redesignate air quality classification within tribal boundaries in Forest County to Class I status under the Federal Clean Air Act Prevention of Significant Deterioration (PSD) construction permit program.

The PSD program works with facilities, such as paper mills, foundries, and power plants, that emit large quantities of air pollutants. The program is intended to insure that air quality remains good in areas where it is currently meeting standards.

A Class I designation means that little or no degradation in the existing air quality on the reservation would be allowed to occur.

In June 1995, EPA proposed approval of the redesignation request, but the States of Wisconsin and Michigan objected to the proposal and requested negotiations to resolve the dispute. Michigan, however, did not participate in the dispute-resolution discussions.

The signed final agreement provides a cooperative framework for establishing State, tribal, and Federal implementation of Class I air quality status for the FCP.

The agreement addresses how permit applications in Wisconsin will be processed for new PSD air sources, and major modifications to existing major sources, potentially affecting the Class I lands.

Although the agreement is signed, it would not become effective unless EPA grants the FCP request for redesignation. EPA expects to publish a decision on the redesignation request and the dispute resolution in the Federal Register within the next six months.

Federal Court upholds enhancement of tribal environmental authority.

July 1997

The following is a message from the Forest County Potawatomi Community in northeastern Wisconsin, on its proposal to redesignate the air over its reservation as Class I status under the Clean Air Act. A parcel of the reservation is five miles from Exxon's proposed Crandon mine:

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency Region V has announced two hearings in northeastern Wisconsin on its proposed approval of air quality redesignation for a portion of the Forest County Potawatomi Reservation.

The Forest County Potawatomi have negotiated in good faith with the State of Wisconsin, and has complied with all regulatory requirements. The Tribe is looking forward to hearing the concerns of the public and has committed to working diligently to answer those concerns.

Recent statements by a State legislator have the Tribe once again concerned about misinformation being presented to the public without the correct factual history of the proposed redesignation. The Tribe will not have any new authority over air permits either inside or outside of a 100 km radius of the reservation. The State still has the authority to issue any permits on any land outside of reservation boundaries, as long as the new project complies with state and federal air quality standards and increments.

The Tribe has prepared a report on the potential economic effects of the new classification. The results show that the redesignation to Class I increments under the Clean Air Act will not have any limiting effects on 14 potential industrial projects combined. The report determined that only very large projects--such as a new coal-fired power plant or smelter located within six miles of the reservation--would be affected by the Class I redesignation. The Wisconsin DNR issued statements in writing that it was in agreement with the technical analysis performed to make this determination by the Tribe.

Although the WDNR staff issued a joint letter signed by the Tribe, EPA, and the State of Michigan to Wisconsin Governor Tommy Thompson, he still opposes the redesignation and has refused to follow the dispute resolution process to resolve any concerns of the State. This letter clearly stated that the remaining air resource management issues could be resolved. Alhtough afforded a process in Section 164(e) of the Clean Air Act to resolve disutes between the States and Tribes, Governor Thompson cites his wish for new regulations instead.

The EPA hearings are scheduled for TUESDAY, AUGUST 12 (4-8 pm) at Indian Springs Lodge in Carter, and WEDNESDAY, AUGUST 13 (1-5 pm) at the Holiday Inn in Rhinelander. If you cannot attend the hearings, please send written comments in support of the Potawatomi Clean Air redesignation proposal to:

Carlton Nash
Chief of Regulations and Development Section R EPA AR-18J
77 West Jackson Boulevard
Chicago IL 60604
Send a copy to the address below.

For more information, contact:

Christine Hanson
Environmental Department
Forest County Potawatomi Community
P.O. Box 340
Crandon WI 54520
Tel. (715) 478-7209
Fax (715) 478-5280