Sunday, December 8, 2019

Anishinaabek Caucus Supports Michigan House Water Protection Package for Our Children For Our Traditions

By Native News Online Staff - December 08, 2019 at 12:00AM

Michigan State Represenatives Youself Rabhi, Laurie Pothutsky, and Rachel Hood with community leaders

Published December 8, 2019

LANSING, Mich. — Anishinaabek Caucus of MDP Founder & Chair, Andrea Pierce and several Anishinaabek Caucus members attended the Michigan House of Representatives press conference for the Water Protection Legislative Package of 2019.

State Representatives Yousef Rabhi (D-Ann Arbor), Laurie Pohutsky (D-Livonia) and Rachel Hood (D-Grand Rapids) are using their legislation to affirm that all waters of Michigan are held in the public trust.

Rabhi’s bill will put water resources into the public trust for the benefit of the people of Michigan.

“We need to manage our water responsibly for the benefit of the people of our state, instead of allowing it to be diverted, polluted or exploited for corporate profits,” commented Rabhi.

Pohutsky’s bill would return oversight for water resources to the Department of Natural Resources in the areas where the DNR exercises oversight for game and fish. “Michigan’ wealth of freshwater is central to our culture, our economy and our very survival,”

Hood’s bill seeks to ban exportation of bottle water extracted in Michigan outside the Great Lakes Basin, thereby closing the small container loophole. “We should not be allowing corporations to profit off of permanently removing massive quantities of the water that belongs to all of us.”

“Anishinaabek people acknowledge responsibility as a community to protect and care for the water,” said Andrea Pierce, chair of the Anishinaabek Caucus of the Michigan Democratic Party. “Advancing legislation to care for our water is one of the main reasons we have formed the Anishinaabek Caucus so that we can protect the culture and traditions of the original people of Michigan.  We need to work for and protect the water and the land for the next 7 generations, we can not leave our future generations. Nothing.” 

These bills recognize that surface and groundwater within the Great Lake Basin is a complex and connected single hydrological body, and rightfully belong to the people of Michigan for the benefit and sustenance of the people of Michigan. “As water is essential to all living things, we can agree that water needs to be protected from exploitation,” said Val Toops, Anishinaabek Caucus member and candidate for Jackson County Sheriff.



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