Tribes Looking Closely At Wisconsin Mining Bill

Friday, February 3rd, 2012 at 6:46 am

A federal agency says it’s looking into whether Wisconsin violated treaty rights by not consulting with tribal governments that might be affected by a state mining bill.

The Bureau of Indian Affairs says it’s conducting an inquiry after at least one tribal government asked it to get involved.

The mining bill would streamline the state’s complex mine-permitting process and is aimed at kick-starting plans for an iron mine just south of Lake Superior.

Officials from the Lac du Flambeau, Red Cliff, Bad River and Menominee tribes claim the lawmaking process ignored treaty rights.

A bureau spokesperson told the AP that the agency is acting on a 2009 executive order that federal officials consult with tribal governments on matters that involve the tribes.

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