UPDATE Menominee chairwoman rips Wis. school mascot law

UPDATED Thursday, February 13, 2014 --- 2:09 p.m.

MADISON, Wis. (AP) -- The Menominee Nation's new chairwoman is criticizing Wisconsin's new school mascot law in front of the state Legislature.

Republican Gov. Scott Walker signed a bill in December making it harder to force public schools to drop tribal nicknames.

Until Walker signed the measure, it took only a single complaint to trigger a state review of the mascot. Under the new law, it takes a petition to trigger the review and the burden of proof falls on the complainants to prove the nickname or mascot is racist.

Menominee Chairwoman Laurie Boivin told legislators during the annual State of the Tribes address Thursday that native children shouldn't be subjected to inaccurate representations of their culture and other victims of discrimination don't have to circulate a petition.

Copyright 2014: Associated Press


UPDATED: Thursday, February 13, 2014 --- 6:23 a.m.

MADISON, Wis. (AP) -- The Menominee Nation's new chairwoman is set to deliver the annual State of the Tribes speech to the Wisconsin Legislature.

Menominee Chairman Craig Corn was expected to give the speech in the state Assembly chamber Thursday, but the tribe announced Monday that its legislature has elected Laurie Boivin to replace him as the tribe's leader. Boivin was elected to the tribal legislature in January.

The speech comes as the Menominee is trying to persuade Gov. Scott Walker to approve plans for an off-reservation casino in Kenosha.

Last year's address turned contentious after speaker Gordon Thayer, then the Lac Courte Oreilles chairman, accused state officials of spreading misinformation about spearfishing and criticized GOP lawmakers for passing a bill relaxing the state's iron mining regulations. Rep. Bill Kramer walked out.

Copyright 2014: Associated Press


MADISON, Wis. (AP) -- A Wisconsin tribal leader promises a gentler State of the Tribes address this year.

Menominee Chairman Craig Corn is set to give the Feb. 13 address to the Legislature.

Then Lac Courte Oreilles Chairman Gordon Thayer took Republican lawmakers and state officials to task last year, accusing them of spreading propaganda about spearfishing quotas, passing mining legislation that will damage the environment and ignoring the tribes.

Rep. Bill Kramer walked out in anger.

Tensions are still running high between the state and tribes after Republicans passed a bill making it harder to strip public schools of American Indian mascots.

The Menominee Nation also wants Gov. Scott Walker to approve a request for a Kenosha casino despite other tribes' opposition. Corn says he'll stay positive in his speech.

Copyright 2014: Associated Press

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