(FiveNation.com)- By building unlawful roadblocks on the only routes leading to their homes, the Lac du Flambeau Band of Lake Superior Chippewa effectively holds 65 families in Wisconsin hostage.
More than a month has passed since two non-native title firms began blocking access to the area with barricades and concrete blocks tied together. Republican Representative Tom Tiffany has called Tribe President John Johnson’s proposal for $20 million to keep the roads running for 15 years unreasonable. The federal government has given the tribe $218 million since 2013. Several isolated residences are more than 20 miles from a supermarket and the places where their occupants work.
Another stranded local, Denny Pearson, must cross Ross Allen Lake every day on his way to work; however, he may be unable to do so for quite some time. Developers got right-of-way easements for sections of highways passing across the tribal territory to build houses for people, not members of the tribe. These easements have now lapsed. There has been no “substantive reaction from the Tribe” to the residents’ two “good faith” settlement proposals and two “good faith” invitations to meet to fix the road concerns.
Notwithstanding President Johnson’s assertion that the title companies would have paid far less if they had “negotiated in good faith” years ago, the attorney for the non-tribal residents argues that the tribe and the BIA were sluggish to reply and negotiate for years.
Hornbostel has been asking why Tribal Police Chief TJ Bill hasn’t removed the unlawful barricades yet. He feels the chief is getting directions from Johnson.
Don Pollard and his wife, 88, are among the inhabitants behind the barriers who have suffered so much that they relocated to southern Wisconsin to live with their daughter.
Until they learn to drive on top of the water, they cannot participate in society since the tribe has only consented to lift the barriers for medical purposes and emergency vehicles.
Racial tensions are rising, and people’s mental and emotional health is suffering as a result.