© 2024 WXPR
Play Live Radio
Next Up:
0:00 0:00
Available On Air Stations

Prayers For Change As Drilling Begins In Oneida County

Oneida county

SCHOEPKE, Wis. (WAOW) -- A crowd of people walked through Oneida County forest land on Monday, pausing to pray and speak out against drilling in the Town of Shoepke.

"We are here to commemorate the start of this destructive venture in the state of Wisconsin," said forest land owner Ron James. He joined a group of Native Americans from tribes across the state of Wisconsin, including Mole Lake.

This was their second walk through these woods. In March, over a hundred people gathered with signs and prayer ties, hoping to stave off Badger Minerals. On Tuesday, they discovered those ties were torn down, demolished in the clearing process. "It's a disgrace to us. It would be like us going into their churches and destroying their statues," said Jwin Zillier, a member of the Menominee Indian Tribe.

Resistance to Badger Minerals' drilling from Native Americans, residents, and businesses has brought little change. Still, Northwoods Native Americans haven't given up hope. They've done this before. In and 1970's and 80's, they opposed mining from Exxon, eventually leading to company's withdrawal from the region. Now, they still have faith their efforts will create the same result.

The latest information from the DNR shows drilling is set to begin on Wednesday. It is scheduled to be completed within 25 days.

Up North Updates
* indicates required