Youth Student Mine Summit, Battle of Mole Lake

Mole Lake youths at Student Mine Summit, April 28, 2001, in front of historical marker commemorating 1806 battle. Photo credit: Sonny Wreczycki

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Youth/Student Mine Summit
April 27-29th, 2001. Mole Lake, WI

A free educational experience for students/youth to learn about the Crandon mine, and what they can do to protect the environment and Native American cultures.

Mole Lake Ojibwe students making banner to stop the Crandon mine Student Mine Summit walk stops at a large wetland within the proposed Crandon mine site that would be drained by the shaft mine development
Mole Lake Mole Lake Ojibwe environmental leader Frances Van Zile with the eagle staff Student Mine Summit walk from the Mole Lake Sokaogon Chippewa Community to the proposed Crandon metallic sulfide mine site
Mole Lake Ojibwe youth on Student Mine Summit walk to Crandon mine site Marchers at the front gate of Billiton's proposed Crandon metallic sulfide mine
Links to Crandon Mine Web Sites View the pictures one at a time by clicking on a snapshot or click HERE to view them all together.

grassroots peoples' movement

Ban cyanide in Wisconsin mines!

Wolf Watershed Educational Project
P.O. Box 14382
Madison, WI 53714-4382 USA
Hotline (800) 445-8615 toll-free

People power - student tour/rally against corporate power, April 2000


January 29, 2001

Dear Educators and Students:

We are writing to you on behalf of the Wolf Watershed Educational Project, a campaign of the Midwest Treaty Network to help stop the Crandon Mine. The WWEP campaign has carried out three speaking tours around the state to help build opposition to the mine, and help bring together tribes with sport fishing groups, environmentalists with unionists, and local residents with urban students.

Our most recent Schools Speaking Tour went to middle schools, high schools and colleges around the state. Our goal was to educate students about the mining issue, and provide the opportunity for high school and college environmental organizations to take up the mining issue. The tour culminated with the April 29, 2000 rally at the State Capitol.

As you know well, with education comes thought, and with thought comes the inspiration for action. The Wolf Watershed Educational Project would like to invite you to attend the Youth/Student Mine Summit that is being organized for the weekend of April 27-29th at the Mole Lake Chippewa Reservation. The purpose of this summit is to bring young people from schools and youth groups around the state to visit Mole Lake and see for themselves how the Crandon Mine would environmentally, culturally, and economically devastate the area.

The first day of the Youth/Student Mine Summit would be organized specifically for middle school and high school groups. The day will begin with an escorted tour of the mine site and the wild rice bed areas at 10am. Here, students will observe first-hand the delicate watershed that is threatened by the proposed Crandon Mine. Visits and talks from tribal elders, tribal youth and other mining experts, and workshops will follow the tour. The day�s events will be completed at 4pm to allow for travel time back to your community. A finalized agenda will be sent out upon completion.

Saturday and Sunday will be open to college students, college-age youth, and chaperoned high school students who wish to campout and enjoy two days with further workshops and activities, including live music on Saturday night.

Please accept our invitation to provide you and your students with a once in a lifetime opportunity. Pre-registration is appreciated. If you have any questions, or would like to register, please contact Dana Churness at , (715) 295-9997or Debi McNutt at, (608) 246-2256, or for tribal students, Christine Munson at, (715) 295-0018.


Wolf Watershed Educational Project


(high school and middle school students):
  • Warm clothes
  • Good boots
  • Raingear
  • Notebooks/pens
  • Canteen/bottle for water
  • Bag lunch
  • blankets to sit on lawn chairs
  • A parental/guardian permission slip for your school
  • A respectful outlook
    (college students and chaperoned high school students):
  • Warm clothes
  • Warm sleeping gear
  • Good boots
  • Raingear
  • Tent
  • Extra socks
  • Flashlights and/or lanterns
  • Notebooks/pens
  • Musical instruments
  • Resources to share
  • Extra blankets
  • blankets to sit on, lawn chairs
  • Cooking gear (if you have it)
  • Canteen/bottle for water
  • If under 18, an adult chaperone and parental/guardian letter
  • Some water from your watershed for Sunday's "gathering of the waters" closing by Fran Van Zile of Mole Lake.
  • A respectful outlook

    • Alcohol
    • Drugs
    • Weapons
    • Fireworks
    • Pets
    • Drums/Native spiritual items (if you are non-Native)
    • A disrepectful outlook

    Art materials needed for Student Mine Summit:
    Contact Barb Munson at

    SKETCHBOOKS - Materials - Clipboards with 7-10 pieces of paper, Assorted drawing pens, pencils, charcoal. One clipboard or sketchbook for each student. Motivate at beginning to be open to elements that present themselves throughout the day. Remind students about sketchbook at each station on the tour. Have extra paper available.

    BANNERS / STREAMERS - Donated Banners. Fabric for streamers can be brought by a variety of participants and shared among the group. "Streamers" is being loosely used to mean anything attached to a banner or booth. It could be a fabric fish, decorative ribbons, a word painted on fabric and attached to the main banner, etc.

    MATERIALS NEEDED: Assorted Craft Yarn. String. Ribbons. Variety of Tough Fabric Scraps. Assorted Brushes 1/2"-6". Paint Rollers. Sponges. Roller Pans. Fabric Glue. Scissors. Matte Knife. Clip-on Rings to attach "Streamers". Duct Tape. Magarine tubs for paint. Ice Cream Buckets for paint. Larger buckets (for paint and clean-up). Note Acrylic or Latex paint because it will stand up to the elements. The same thought about Streamers and other things attached to banners - They need to be tough and not to fray, bleed or tear too easily.


    A free educational weekend on the proposed Crandon mine and defending Native American cultures, at the Mole Lake Chippewa Reservation, Wisconsin (100 mi NE of Wausau and 8 miles S of Crandon). Bring water from your watershed!

    POSTER: or


    > From the South:
    From Hwy. 51/39, turn east (right) on Hwy 64 to Antigo, turn north (left) on 45/47 to Elcho, turn east (right) on County Rd. K to Hwy 55, turn north (left) to Mole Lake.
    At the south end of the reservation, turn west (left) off of Highway 55 onto Tribal Road at the Waba-Nun-Nung (Morning Star) Gospel Chapel.
    Powwow grounds are a few blocks; in case of rain there will signs to an indoor location--probably the nearby Mole Lake Youth Center (old school).

    > From the North:
    Take Hwy 8 to Crandon, turn south on Hwy 55 right miles to Mole Lake, take a right on Tribal Road.


    * FRIDAY, APRIL 27 *

    (Middle school and high school student class tours)

    10 am Introduction
    Welcome by Chair Sandra Rachel or Vice Chair Tina Van Zile.
    Overview of mine map (Sonny Wreczycki and George Rock)

    11 am-12 noon
    Middle school and high school students tour of Mole Lake/mine area (in different vehicles) by Robert Van Zile, George Rock, Fran Van Zile, Chuck Sleeter.
    Go to historical marker/Rice Lake, mine site, Info Center/Swamp Creek

    12 noon-1 pm
    Mole Lake Drum
    Talk by Fred Ackley during lunch at powwow grounds
    (students bring bag lunch from home)

    1 pm
    Water testing/groundwater modeling
    Dana Churness

    2 pm
    Sharing among students

    3 pm
    Hands-on artwork
    Making banner and sign artwork
    (around edges of signs and banners)

    4 pm
    Younger students head home

    5 pm to nighttime
    Set up registration/welcoming
    Have some hot chocolate or soup for people coming in.
    Evening--Orientation/rules/cultural respect (Christine Munson)
    Play Keepers of the Water and cyanide video on TV/VCR.
    Possible spearfishing --option of going to boat landings.


    * SATURDAY, APRIL 28 *

    (Camp-out of college students and chaperoned high school students)


    [10 am-1 pm Wolf Watershed Educational Project (WWEP) meeting at Nii Win House on Sand Lake Road, then to powwow grounds for lunch with students.]

    Morning at powwow grounds--Coffee, juice, fruit, breads

    10 am WELCOMING by Sandra Rachel or Tina Van Zile Cultural Respect / rules (Christine Munson) Overview of mine map (George Rock and Sonny Wreczycki)

    11 am -1 pm TOUR of Mole Lake area with stops: Mine site (Roscoe Churchill, Robert Van Zile) Info Center (Sylvester Poler, Len Pubanz) Swamp Creek (Dana Churness-- water testing) Historical marker/Rice Lake (Fran Van Zile)

    1 pm LUNCH at powwow grounds Wolf Watershed Educational Project people join lunch

    KEYNOTES during lunch on "Turning Apathy Into Action" (Christine Munson, Dana Churness)

    A. Local struggle for democracy
    (Chuck Sleeter, Ken Fish, George Rock, Herb/Genie Buettner)
    B. Crandon mine history/corporate research/tough questions
    (Al Gedicks)
    C. Using the internet/web for activism (Alice McCombs, EarthWINS)

    (Sayokla Kindness, Indigenous Environmental Network, California)

    A. Oppression/self-respect for Native students
    (Sayokla Kindness and Heather Lightning, IEN)
    B. Treaty rights and sovereignty (Ken Fish, Christine Munson)

    5 pm SKILLS CIRCLES (How to set up a group)
    A. Writing/media skills/press release/PSAs (Zoltan Grossman, MTN)
    B. Forming and maintaining a campus group (Dana Churness, UWSP Progressive Action

    6 pm FEAST (coordinated by Fran Van Zile)
    People give ideas for action that came out of workshops
    Discussion on what to do next, and in the Fall semester.
    Plan for summer rafting on Wolf River,
    and Milwaukee Indian Summer activities

    Mining videos on TV/VCR.
    Music around campfire with Skip Jones, others.
    Jam session (students should bring instruments).
    Informal discussion about past actions.
    Possible spearfishing--option of going to boat landings.
    Signmaking--filling in Friday art signs and banners with slogans.


    * SUNDAY, APRIL 29 *


    Morning--Coffee, fruit, juice, breads
    Signmaking--filling in Friday signs and banners with slogans

    9:30 Gathering at powwow grounds;
    assemble signs, banners, Earth flags

    10:00 MARCH and peaceful gathering.
    Closing: GATHERING OF THE WATERS (Fran Van Zile)
    Ceremonial combining of water brought by all students
    from their different home watersheds.

    12 noon Summit over-
    Need clean-up and loading crew to stay behind


    This project was made possible by generous funding by the Fund of the Sacred Circle, the Honor The Earth Campaign, and the Wisconsin Community Fund.
    People power - student tour/rally against corporate power, April 2000
    Midwest Treaty Network Contents Page
    Wolf Watershed Educational Project