Lawmakers could improve the quality of life in the state, if they were to work more closely with Wisconsin’s Native American tribes.
Lac Courte Oreilles Band of the Lake Superior Chippewa chairman Mic Isham, Jr. offered that message ot lawmakers Tuesday, while delivering the annual State of the Tribes address at the Capitol. “By increasing our dialogue, and increasing our trust, we’ll be able to move our state and our tribes forward to benefit all our citizens,” he said during more than hour-long speech.
AUDIO: LCO Chariman Mic Isham calls for more cooperation (:39)
Isham offered some criticism for the Legislature, pointing to a failed bill that would have weakened protections for burial mounds and a long list of changes to environmental regulations that are still being considered this year. “These are areas where we have much in common and should be working hand-in-hand,” he said. “Pristine water, clean air, lush woodlands, healthy and clean fish and wildlife populations, benefit us all.”
Isham also asked lawmakers to help improve education about the state’s native people, in order to help dispel the many myths and misconceptions that persist about them. “Good faith and fair dealing go a long way to destroy myths, build bridges, and strengthen our communities,” he argued.