Tribe, community discuss land issues

Tribe chairman would like to see more land opened for its people

A Lake Superior tribe and its local community are forming a committee to discuss the possibility of reclaiming reservation land.

The Bad River Band of Lake Superior Chippewa settled on Madeline Island in Lake Superior’s Apostle Islands. Tribe chairman Mike Wiggins said his people consider the island sacred.

However, it also has high-priced homes where hundreds of visitors stay in the summer. Some of those homeowners have leased land from the Bad River Band for decades, but Wiggins says it’s possible the lease won’t be renewed when it’s up in 2017.

He told Wisconsin Public Radio he’d like to see that area opened up for tribal people.

La Pointe town chairman Greg Nelson hopes the newly formed tribal-relations committee will help both sides keep the lines of communication open.