The Sokaogon Mole Lake Band of the Lake Superior Chippewa Community will host the very first Wolf River Tourism Conference as well as the first green tourism conference by an American Indian tribal community nationwide, on May 12 and 13 at the Mole Lake Casino Conference Center, a tribal press release stated. Richard D. Ackley, Jr. organizer of the event, said in the press release, “We have partnered with many organizations who share our philosophy to protect the environment forever and the new Travel Green Wisconsin Program will also become part of our annual event. Wisconsin’s Lt. Governor, Rebecca Kleefisch, and Regional Tourism Specialist Sarah Pischer will keynote the Travel Green and its new launch. The goal is to encourage as many businesses as possible across the state to become certified.”
Wolf River is an undeveloped and pristine lake near Mole Lake, a lynchpin to the ecosystem of northeastern Wisconsin. The conference will draw attention to the importance of protecting and perserving Wolf River. Travel Green Wisconsin has already applied for State Scenic By-Way status to for a section of State Highway 55, which runs alongside of Wolf River.
“Other goals include the ability to invite international visitors here to north eastern Wisconsin to experience and enjoy its true beauty,” the press release stated. “As well as to be able to share the rich history of the Woodland Indian of the Great Lakes; early American pioneers; the Civil War Era and more recently the controversial issues which have spanned more than 30 years and efforts to thwart EXXON Mining and Minerals from opening a deep shaft metallic mining operation. A mine would have ultimately introduced toxins and pollutants into the Wolf River system at the headwaters of the Wolf River.”
Another goal is the commitment to save the sacred wild rice beds in the Mole Lake community, an essential component to the Mole Lake people’s “existence and survival as Indigenous peoples of the Great Lakes region,” the press release stated. “We have partnered with many organizations who share our philosophy to protect the environment forever,” Ackley said in the press release. “The new Wisconsin Travel Green Program will also become part of our annual event. Lt. Governor, Rebecca Kleefisch, and Regional Tourism Specialist Sarah Pischer will introduce Travel Green and its new launch. The concept of green is new to the Indian tribes; because the Indigenous peoples of this planet always cared for our sacred Mother Earth since time in memorial.”