Chippewa grandmothers write about arrest at LDF occupation

Dear Editor,

In a peaceful occupation and protest, six Indian women led a coup to remove tribal President Victoria Doud, and seven other council members of the Lac du Flambeau Band of Lake Superior Indians, when they barricaded themselves in offices at the Tribal Center on March 26, 2008.

Now possibly facing felony charges, the Grandmothers and women of the group called “Ginews,” the Ojibwe word for “Golden Eagles,” are speaking out against alleged tribal government corruption and a plan to sell Indian lands in order to get a loan for operating capital because the tribe is on the verge of financial ruin and bankruptcy.

For the ten women arrested, 79-year-old Dorothy Thoms, 75-year-old Betty Jack, 60-year-old Goldie Larson, and 51-year-old Ronda Snow are planning a “Ginew Grandmothers Speaking tour” in order to stop Congressional Bill HR5521. The bill was introduced to the U.S. House of Representatives on March 3, 2008, by Wisconsin Congressman Kagen and would allow the sale of Lac du Flambeau Reservation lands.

“We are appealing to the entire Ojibwe Nation, all the tribes across the Great Lakes region, across the country and to our Canadian brothers and sisters to help us stop this corrupt tribal government,” the Ojibwe grandmothers have said in a joint statement.

“As is tradition, we have asked our young warriors to sound the drum: to ask all Indian people to band together to protect our lands. This is a modern day political battle but also a spiritual battle against a corrupt government that has gone so far as to attack our drum, pepper spray our children, threaten to kill and arrest our elders, and sell our lands.”

If you would like to host a Ginew Grandmothers event, or wish to endorse their cause to stop Congressional Bill HR5521, please feel free to contact us.

Ronda Snow, on behalf of the
Ginew Support Fund
P.O. Box 917
Lac du Flambeau, Wisconsin 54538

Listen to Audio File of Goldie Larson and Mike Chosa

Link to Associated Press story: Standoff ends peacefully