Group photo, Jadar Valley, Serbia. Courtesy of Ivan Bjelic/Polekol
Lake Superior Project

Lake Superior Project – Fighting Extractivism at Home and Abroad

Ricky DeFoe and local resident Milan Pavlovic at the site of the proposed mine in the Jadar Valley, Serbia, 2024.

Gwiwiizens, or Ricky DeFoe, Fond du Lac Ojibwe elder, was part of a coalition of water protectors who traveled to Serbia in February of 2024, to attend the Green Horizons Academy International conference. The group attending from Minnesota was there to foster international collaboration and develop organizational strategies in response to the threat of lithium and nickel mining in Minnesota and abroad.

Talon Metals – Rio Tinto Tamarack Mine map, courtesy of Water Legacy

Gwiwiizens talks to fellow water protectors in Serbia.

Ricky connects the government’s push for “green energy” with the push for lithium and nickel mining in areas like the Jadar Valley in Serbia and in Tamarack, Minnesota. These are both places where the trans-national corporation Rio Tinto is paving the way for large-scale, extractive mining operations.

The mine at Tamarack would be owned by Talon Metals and Rio Tinto, and located in the St. Croix and Mississippi River watersheds. It would also be within a few miles of Mille Lacs Ojibwe communities at Round Lake and East Lake. The Mille Lacs Community has created the Water Over Nickel initiative, in response.




With thanks to Allen Richardson and Water Legacy for photos and images. The Lake Superior Project is also funded in part by the Blandin Foundation.