Kennecott Eagle Minerals crushes Eagle Rock encampment, orders heavily-armed police raid, two campers arrested, demands other campers to leave, disrespectfully douses sacred grandfather father without an elder as requested by Native Americans, trashes Eagle Rock Community Garden
Kennecott celebrates aftermath of raid by bribing cops with picnic, according to Stand for the Land blog
Scroll down for photos of police raid, links to Indian Country Today story
(Big Bay, Michigan) - On orders from an international mining company, dozens of heavily armed police raided a month old Ojibwa encampment at sacred Eagle Rock in northern Michigan and during which mine officials intentionally disrespected American Indians traditions and beliefs in the process.
The raid happened on Thursday, May 27, 2010 - a little more than a month after the camp was created at sunset on April 23 by three brave American Indian women from Baraga, Michigan - KBIC members Charlotte Loonsfoot, 37, and Chalsea Smith, 20; and Georgenia Earring of the Cheyenne River Lakota Sioux tribe in South Dakota.
Then the mine officials literally crushed the camp and the Eagle Rock Community Garden that has been expanded in recent days.
Sacred Eagle Rock and the Yellow Dog Plains are State of Michigan public land that Ojibwa have rights to under federal treaties instead the state leased the land to Kennecott Eagle Minerals for its sulfide mine that will produce sulfuric acid byproduct as they mine nickel, copper and other minerals.
Some 30 other similar mines will pop up like mushrooms in the same area if the Eagle Mine Project starts digging under the Salmon Trout River; and underneath Eagle Rock to create a tunnel to the mine.
Kennecott disrespected several Ojibwa traditions including a request to have an elder douse the grandfather fire and arresting a camper in a fasting ritual with her bundle on Eagle Rock.
Meanwhile, terror tactics were reported by the American Indian and non-native Eagle Rock defenders in the days leading up to the raid including numerous sharpened metal objects and large nails have been scattered in the sand at the edge of a river that the campers sometimes use to cool down from record high temperatures this past week.
The objects were not at the water's edge a few days earlier. An approximately nine-inch nail showed no signs of rust and appeared to be relatively new.
In addition, in the week prior to the raid Kennecott construction personnel constructed a fence across a path that mine officials know is being used by the campers to collect drinking water and to water the new eagle Rock Community Garden.
Also campers have repeatedly spotted unknown people in camouflage sneaking around in the bushes around the outer perimeter of the campsite at the base of Eagle Rock.
While the Eagle Rock camp was set up by Ojibwa tribal members, the campers included members of several tribes including Lakota and Cherokee plus members of numerous other tribes expressed support for the campers in internet posts and letters.
Please read story in Indian Country Today (ICT) newspaper:
Raid at Eagle Rock:
Raid at Eagle Rock in ICT digital edition pages 7 and 8:
Michigan State Police standing on the remote Triple A Road near the entrance to Eagle Rock. (Photo by Greg Peterson)
Marquette County Sheriff's Department cars blocking Triple A Road at the Eagle Project nickel and Copper mine entrance about three quarters of a mile east of sacred Eagle Rock.
Also pictured Powell Township fire and ambulance vehicles and personnel, who were on standby in case someone was hurt during the police raid on sacred Eagle Rock.
The media and campers were allowed to walk past the blockade to the former encampment but warned to stay on the road or face arrest. (Photo by Greg Peterson)
Michigan State Police and mine security perched atop Eagle Rock – the officers were armed with high power rifles. (Photo by Greg Peterson)
Following police raid, Eagle Rock campers stand on the Triple A Road at the former entrance to the sacred Eagle Rock encampment as Michigan State Police stand watch in the background
In foreground, are two of the four campers present when police moved in plus longtime blogger and camper Gabriel Caplett (on left with video camera ) who has been writing daily updates on the camp for the past month on the StandForTheLand Blog and also has written hundreds of updates about the effort to block by several environment groups and the Keweenaw Bay Indian Community since plans for the the mine were announced in 2004.
Pictured with Caplett in the foreground are Kalvin Hartwig (center), a member of the Sault Ste. Marie Band of Chippewa, and nonnative Catherine Parker (right) of Marquette.
Michigan State Police standing on the Triple A Road near the entrance to Eagle Rock after raid on campers and arrest of two members of the Keweenaw Bay Indian Community for "trespassing" when they refused to leave the sacred Eagle Rock Ojibwa encampment. (Photo by Greg Peterson)
Kennecott Eagle Minerals employees string the fence across the driveway to the Eagle Rock encampment's with state police and mine security looking on, (Photo by Greg Peterson)Michigan State Police and mine security perched atop Eagle Rock – the officers were armed with high power rifles. (Photo by Greg Peterson)Two of the four campers that were present when police moved in on May 27, 2010. Kalvin Hartwig, a member of the Sault Ste. Marie Band of Chippewa, and non-Native Catherine Parker of Marquette, Michigan stand in front of the former encampment entrance at Eagle Rock that is filled with the mine's heavy equipment and police. (Photo by Greg Peterson)The remains of the Eagle Rock Community Garden that was pulled up by Eagle Project mine officials and placed into purple children's swimming pools at the encampment entrance. (Photo by Greg Peterson)Mine equipment at entrance to Eagle Rock with Stand For the Land sign and a pole with a lone Eagle Feather on top. (Photo by Greg Peterson)Powell Township ambulance and fire vehicles and personnel on standby at the entrance to the Eagle Project nickel and copper mine about three quarters of a mile from Sacred Eagle Rock. (Photo by Greg Peterson)