Two Michigan Tribal Citizens Selected for State of Michigan’s First Environmental Justice Advisory Council [Bryan Newland and John Petoskey]

Here:

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE   
January 23, 2020   
Gov Contact: BrownT56@michigan.gov   
EGLE Contact: Greenbergj@michigan.gov 

Twenty-one Michiganders Selected for the State’s First Environmental Justice Advisory Council 

 LANSING, Mich. – Twenty-one Michiganders have been selected to the state’s first Michigan Advisory Council for Environmental Justice (MAC EJ) under the direction of Governor Gretchen Whitmer, the Michigan Department of Environment, Great Lakes, and Energy (EGLE) announced today. 

 “Since taking office, I’ve been deliberate and focused on protecting our Great Lakes, cleaning up our drinking water, and combating the real-life impacts of climate change,” said Whitmer. “To address ongoing environmental justice issues, it was absolutely critical that those impacted daily have a seat at the table. We must ensure that the implementation and enforcement of environmental protections, regulations, and policies in Michigan will be fair and meaningful to all Michiganders, regardless of geography, race, color, origin, or income. Actions like these will help to further rebuild trust in our state government.” 

The Interagency Environmental Justice Response Team is led by Regina Strong, the state’s Environmental Justice Public Advocate. The MAC EJ will provide public and impacted community input for the directors appointed to the Response Team. The Response Team is also planning regional roundtables around the state to ensure that as many people as possible are at the table on environmental issues.

“Meeting people where they are is vital to our commitment to making Michigan a leader in environmental justice,” said EGLE Director Liesl Clark. “Creating the Michigan Advisory Council on Environmental Justice is an important step in building the framework to ensure all Michiganders benefit equitably from our environmental laws and regulations. Through both the Office of Environmental Justice Public Advocate and the Interagency Environmental Justice Response Team, we are working to address inequities that impact communities across this state. The creation of this advisory council will play an important role in helping us achieve that goal.” 

The following individuals have been appointed to the Michigan Advisory Council on Environmental Justice:   

[moving them to the front]

Bryan Newland, of Brimley, is an active member of the Bay Mills Indian Community and the president and chairman of the Executive Council. Mr. Newland is an attorney with Fletcher Law and he earned his Juris Doctor degree from the Michigan State University College of Law.  

John Petoskey, of Northport, is a member of the Grand Traverse Band of Ottawa and Chippewa Indians. Mr. Petoskey is currently pursuing his Juris Doctor degree and Master of Science in Environmental Justice and Policy at the University of Michigan. 

Article on Posthumous Pardon for Tribal Attorney Don Gellers

Here.

Donald Gellers died of cancer at the age of 78 in 2014. During his lifetime, he never asked for a pardon. But in October, Gellers’ attorney, relatives and members of the Passamaquoddy tribe appeared on his behalf to ask the governor’s pardon board to grant him one and to end what has been described by journalist Colin Woodard as “one of the most sordid episodes in Maine legal history.” Woodard has written extensively about the case for the Maine Sunday Telegram.

Op-Ed in Seattle Times on Roadless Rule

Here.

Likewise, we demand that our politicians and decision-makers respect the voices of indigenous people. Tribes have been asked to engage with the Alaska Roadless Rulemaking process as cooperating agencies, but their input, knowledge and needs have carried little weight in the decision-making process to date. This is unacceptable. The Organized Village of Kake, the Ketchikan Indian Community, the Organized Village of Saxman, the Craig Tribal Association and the Organized Village of Kasaan have all passed resolutions expressing a desire to keep the Roadless Rule in effect on the Tongass.