March 14, 2023

Native American Tribe Barricading in Wisconsin Families

A Native American tribe that has barricaded multiple Wisconsin families in their homes has received millions of dollars in government funding.

The Lac du Flambeau of Lake Superior Chippewa Indians blocked roads running through its land, barricading the only exits for some families in the area.

"As we have said before, this entire situation could have been avoided if the Town and the Title Insurance Companies would have negotiated in good faith," the tribe's President John Johnson said in a statement Friday. "The Tribe feels for the property owners impacted by the actions of the Town and the Title Insurance Companies."

"In fact, we share in their frustration in dealing with government and lawyers, as well as the associated costs that add up quickly over a short period of time — much less over the 10 years that we've been trying to get this resolved with the Town and Title Insurance Companies."

"Both the Town and Tribe have exchanged public comments, which are posted online, but there was no clear indication of an expected resolution date. Wisconsin Governor Tony Evers traveled to Lac du Flambeau on February 4 to meet with multiple members of the Tribe," local CBS news reported.

"The Tribe says it came to an asking price of $20 million by accounting for all the fees and expenses incurred trying to get an agreement to provide access for property owners using the Tribal Lands. As well as the cost of 'illegally using Tribal Lands' over ten years since the easements expired," it added.

Residents in the area number over 60 people. During the winter, the barricaded roads can be bypassed by a snowmobile or SUV.

Concerns are more focused on what will happen in the spring. Once frozen waterways melt, residents will be trapped without access to roads from their land.

The ongoing concern is both a land dispute and financial issue, with the tribe seeking the most funding possible and the state's government working to limit its payout.

The ongoing dispute could prove to become a much larger issue if it lasts much longer, leading to more publicity over the heated topic.

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