Fences and signs keep civilians off Eagle Rock, which is slated for demolition by a UK-based mining company

Sacred Sites: Eagle Rock, Michigan


Some sacred sites are threatened, and others are on the road to recovery; Eagle Rock, on Michigan's Upper Peninsula, awaits its scheduled end like a convict on death row.

Rio Tinto, a UK-based mining company, plans to demolish Eagle Rock for the sake of mining primarily nickel and copper, but also gold and other precious metals. Eagle Rock is sacred to the Anishinaabe people, who call it Migi zii wa sin.

A year ago, activists camped out on Eagle Rock for a month, but were eventually forced off by Michigan police, and two of them were arrested. Defenders of Eagle Rock have been fighting a legal battle against Rio Tinto and Kennecott Eagle Minerals Co.; as things currently stand, according to the activist blog StandForTheLand.com, Rio Tinto says it will not begin blasting at Eagle Rock earlier than September 14.

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danielblondeau's picture
Submitted by danielblondeau on
The posting on your site regarding Eagle Rock, Michigan (June 21) prompts this clarification of potential interest to your readers. Kennecott is mindful of the connection Native American communities in the region have with the rock. We are committed to ensuring the rock remains protected from current construction and future mining activities and safely accessible to those who wish to utilize the rock for cultural interests. In fact, the rock will remain protected as it is, as is required by permit conditions governing our project. We also want to be straightforward about our plans. The tunnel that will be created to enable workers to access the underground mine will start into the ground approximately 100 yards to the west of the rock, not into the rock face itself as the blog and photo caption mischaracterize. The tunnel will travel under the ground’s surface before reaching the rock, and will travel through the part of the rock that is underground, maintaining the rock’s current above ground condition. We appreciate the opportunity to provide this clarification, and welcome your questions anytime. Sincerely, Daniel Blondeau Advisor - Communications & Media Relations Kennecott Eagle Minerals

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