Nick Hockings on LDF tribal leaders and their forced removal

Video Produced by Nick Vander Puy
Lac du Flambeau, Wisconsin (NFIC)

The Lac du Flambeau Ojibwe Reservation in northern Wisconsin has been tossed into turmoil for the last several months over questions of financial accountability, leadership and a faction of tribal members occupying the Tribal Offices.

With the occupation ending peacefully, and federal authorities agreeing to an audit of tribal records several members were then arrested on various charges.

Since the March occupation, protesters have continued the pressure the council on several fronts, including erecting a protest camp and fire across from the tribal offices. The tribal council ordered, and had tribal workers tear down the encampment on May 2nd with law enforcement officials from several counties standing by, and then extinguished the fire.

Protesters built another lodge a few days later which was then torn again with one local council member erecting a lodge on his own property in order to prevent its destruction.

The LDF suffered a major defeat during May when a Congressional Bill (HR 5680) was rejected at the demand of other Tribal governments and legal scholars, that would have allowed the tribe to mortgage reservation trust land acreage against a $50 million dollar bond to make payments on investment debts.

The tribal council also voted since May to remove the tribal treasurer and two council members and proposed a new ordinance to banish tribal members who violated, or were categorized under certain conditions.

Reporter Nick Vander Puy attended a Native performance in Rhinelander, Wisconsin which helped raise money for the defense of some of those arrested in March. He asked LDF member Nick Hockings his feelings about the current situation.

"A Vast Majority Elected Her"

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