As the project pushes on, it remains littered with litigation.
Currently, the Keweenaw Bay Indian Community and three organizations – the National Wildlife Federation, Huron Mountain Club and Yellow Dog Watershed Preserve – are waiting to hear whether Michigan’s Court of Appeals will hear their challenge of a 2006 state permit to build the mine.
In addition, the Huron Mountain Club, a private landowners club, filed a lawsuit in April contending Kennecott didn’t get permits from the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers. The lawsuit claims that the permits are necessary since the project could harm the Salmon Trout River, wetlands, endangered species and sacred Native American sites.
So far lawsuits and knocking on government doors have proven fruitless and costly, Koski said. But the tribe will continue its steady drumbeat of opposition, pushing industry and government to respect their land, their water, their beliefs and their rights.
“An elder recently gave me a bracelet symbolizing a rainbow,” Koski said. “She said she saw that things were going to be changing.
“There is still a lot of hope.”
This article originally ran at Environmental Health News, a news source published by Environmental Health Sciences, a nonprofit media company.