Dear WISDOM Members and Friends:
The issue of contaminated water is not just isolated to Flint, Michigan. Today, I want to call your attention to two water issues that are deeply connected to WISDOM’s mission.
First, we have heard for a long time that the water in some of our state prisons, especially Fox Lake and Waupun Correctional Institutions, is bad, and perhaps even dangerous. It was a theme brought out at the WISDOM Listening Session in Madison back on February 4. Click here for an article about contaminated water in Wisconsin prisons that tells more about the problem. It is the first press attention this matter has received. Perhaps the most troubling detail is that, for prisoners, the only alternative to the bad water is to buy over-priced bottled water.
The second issue has to do with our friends on the Menominee Reservation in northeastern Wisconsin. You might know that WISDOM has worked with an organizing project there for almost two years, and we are very pleased that a strong core team called “Menikanaehkem” (“Community Builders”) has worked hard on issues that are helping to re-build and restore Menominee culture, language and identity.
This past November, Menominee tribal members, members from other tribes, school children and other supporters gathered at the mouth of the Menominee River, which is also known as the birthplace of the Menominee people. For the first time in hundreds of years, and through ceremony, prayer and song, wild rice was seeded in the waters that have given life to the Menominee since time immemorial. Two weeks later, an application was submitted for a sulfide mine upstream from this sacred place – just across the state line in the Upper Peninsula of Michigan. The mine threatens to contaminate the sacred water and to destroy the newly seeded wild rice.
On April 23, 24 and 25, members of the Menominee people and others who care about protecting the earth and the waters will walk from the reservation to the site of the proposed mine. The goals of the walk are to bring awareness to this issue, and to pray and to stand up for the sacred water.
To learn how you can participate in or support the walk, or to get more detailed information, please contact organizer Guy Reiter at 715-853-2776, or at firstname.lastname@example.org. The walk also has a Go Fund Me page at https://www.gofundme.com/vqxpgxys
These are two of the many issues that will be discussed this Saturday, April 16, at the WISDOM Leadership Assembly, which will be held in Plover, WI. Registration for that event is being done through local WISDOM organizations.
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