Indigenous leaders introduce new environmental initiative

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Minnesota Indigenous leaders have introduced a new environmental initiative.

The Mille Lacs Band of Ojibwe on Tuesday launched the “water over nickel” cause, saying it’s designed to protect water and land from damage through mining operations.

Indigenous leaders say the country is facing a clean water crisis caused by drought, pollution, infrastructure decline and overconsumption.

“Minnesota’s mining laws are outdated and there’s certainly work that needs to be done in that arena,” Kelly Applegate, the commissioner of natural resources for the Mille Lacs Band of Ojibwe, said.

The new initiative comes after Talon, a major mining company, proposed a nickel, copper and cobalt project in Tamarack, which is located between Duluth and Mille Lacs Lake. The company’s goal is to provide the electric car industry with more materials.