Date of Award


Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy



First Advisor

Dr. Ronald C. Kramer

Second Advisor

Dr. Douglas Davidson

Third Advisor

Dr. Don Fixico

Fourth Advisor

Dr. Subhash Sonnad


In recent years powerful multinational mining corporations have attempted to mine various minerals found on Indian lands in the northern region of Wisconsin. These lands are currently protected from corporate incursion by treaties between the Chippewa people and the United States government. The Chippewa are using the treaties as an obstacle to corporate access to their lands and to protect their lands from the environmental devastation that will occur from proposed mining ventures.

This case study utilizes a power-reflexive method to analyze the power of the state to control rich mineral resources known to be on reservation lands. Under examination are state and corporate actors and the methods used in an attempt to abrogate the treaties made during the 1800s so that they may continue to use the Chippewa as a resource colony to gain access to these rich mineral deposits. A power-reflexive approach in this research will demonstrate how native peoples are challenging the most powerful institutions of a large nation state by using their capabilities to blend assertion of treaty rights with innovative and militant forms of environmental activism.

This research focuses on the American Indian point of view and how consideration of American Indian views and philosophies concerning the environment can help create a new heritage of respect, cooperation, and freedom.

Access Setting

Dissertation-Open Access