“Shoshone lose court bid to protect Mount Tenabo

The Te-Moak Tribe of the Western Shoshone have lost another court bid to stop the expansion of the Cortez Hills mine project on their traditional territory. On June 18, 2010, the U.S. Federal Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals decided to rule against the Shoshone, reversing its previous ruling in December 2009 that ordered a temporarily halt … Continue Reading: http://intercontinentalcry.org/shoshone-lose-court-bid-to-protect-mount-tenabo/”>http://intercontinentalcry.org/shoshone-lose-court-bid-to-protect-mount-tenabo/

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Land purchased for area’s Shoshone tribe

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An international gold mining company has purchased more than 3,600 acres in Northern Nevada to be set aside for the Western Shoshone, who consider the land historic and sacred, the company said.


Great Basin Gold Ltd. said it purchased the Rock Creek Canyon property in Lander County for $825,000 late last week from Colorado-based RLF Nevada Properties.

The company said it also is providing seed money for a planned conservancy fund and has retired the mineral rights.


Native Americans Ask Court to Stop Gold Mine on Sacred Mountain

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SAN FRANCISCO, California, June 6, 2009 (ENS) – The Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals will hear oral arguments Wednesday on whether the Canadian corporation Barrick Gold will be allowed to construct and operate an open pit gold mine on Mt. Tenabo in Nevada. The mine is planned on lands that are culturally and spiritually significant to the Western Shoshone native people.

The plaintiffs, three tribal groups and two conservation organizations, are seeking a preliminary injuction to stop expansion of an existing Barrick gold mining operation onto Mt. Tenabo, spelled Mt. Denabo by the native people. If the court grants the injunction, the merits of the case will be argued later in U.S. District Court in Nevada.

Barrick’s existing Cortez gold mine is located 60 miles southwest of Elko, Nevada in Lander County.


Closing mine part of bigger battle

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This open pit gold mine is part of a complex operated by Newmont Mining Corp. near Carlin. The EPA alleges that one of the Carlin mines and another in Nevada improperly disposed of mercury, allowing it to leach into the ground from tailings ponds. The company says it sells, not disposes of, most mercury from the site.

A Northern Nevada gold mine that was recently allowed to reopen after being among the region’s worst emitters of airborne mercury had its roasting operations halted recently by state regulators.The company had failed to install state-mandated mercury reduction equipment on time.


Grants Available for Mining-Impacted Indigenous Communities

Grants Available for Mining-Impacted Indigenous Communities

May 20, 2009 at 6:40pm

The Indigenous Environmental Network and Western Mining Action Network have grants available for mining-impacted Indigenous communities in North America.

Applications have to be in before June 1, 2009, so you’ll have to move quick if you want to apply. Otherwise, you’ll have to wait until the next grant cycle in October, 2009.

Please see below for details, or visit: http://www.ienearth.org/mining.html

Grassroots Communities Mining Mini-Grant Program

The goal of the Mining Mini-grants Program is to support and enhance the capacity building efforts of mining-impacted communities in the U.S. and Canada to assure that mining projects do not adversely affect human, cultural, and the ecological health of communities.

The applicant must be a grassroots community program with limited funds that has demonstrated the capacity to successfully carry out the project. Individual grants will not exceed $3,000 U.S. and cannot be used for general programmatic or operating expenses.

Applications must be submitted by June 1, 2009, October 1, 2009 or February 1, 2010. Applicants will be notified of the funding decision within 3 weeks of the application deadline. There will be an “emergency” fund for extremely time-sensitive projects that fall between grant cycles (i.e., needs that could not have been anticipated at the time of the last cycle and cannot wait to be addressed until the next cycle). These grants will be very limited and awarded on a case-by-case basis at the discretion of the Mini-Grant Review Committee.

WMAN/IEN Indigenous Communities Mini-grants program criteria:

  1. Grassroots community-based organizations, and Tribes or Tribal programs in the U.S. and Canada with any budget level may apply. However, if there are more applicants than funds available, priority will be given to organizations with an organizational or mining-specific project budget under $75,000 U.S.; priority will also be given to community-based grassroots groups affected by mining.
  2. Requests must be project-specific for an immediate need such as legal assistance, organizing and outreach, development of campaign materials, media development, reports, travel, mailings, etc. to be fulfilled within the next four to six months on a specific mining campaign. Funds cannot be used for an organization’s general operating funds, staff salaries, rent or telephone bills.
  3. Priority will be given to projects that build bridges and community across socio-economic and cultural lines.
  4. Applicants who have received funds twice during the previous two grant cycles will be given lower priority than new organizations and programs. This will not apply to “emergency” grants.
  5. Each grant issued will not exceed $3,000.
  6. Funding recipients must submit a brief report detailing how funds were spent within 1 month of the project finishing. Recipients will not be eligible for additional funding until the project has been completed and a project report, or an extension request, is received and accepted by WMAN and IEN.

Any questions? We are happy to help. Please contact either Sarah Keeney, WMAN Network Coordinator at (503) 327-8625 ~ sarahekeeney@comcast.net or Simone Senogles, Indigenous Environmental Network, (218) 751-4967 ~ simone@ienearth.org.

The application below can be emailed to either Sarah Keeney or to Simone Senogles, or it can be sent by regular mail, postmarked by June 1, 2009, October 1, 2009 or February 1, 2010 respectively, to: IEN attn: Mining Mini-grants, PO Box 485, Bemidji, MN 56619. If you are mailing the application, please call Simone or Sarah to let us know to expect it. Thank you!

Download the Application




By Kathy Kelly and Brian Terrall

It’s one thing to study online articles describing the MQ-9 Reapers and MQ-1 Predators. It’s quite another to identify these drones as they take off from runways at Nevada’s Creech Air Force base, where our “Ground the Drones…Lest We Reap the Whirlwind” campaign is holding a ten-day vigil.

This morning, during a one hour walk from Cactus Springs, Nevada, where we are housed, to the gates of Creech Air Force base, we saw the Predator and Reaper drones glide into the skies, once every two minutes.

We could easily distinguish the Predator from the Reaper, – if the tailfins are up, it’s a Predator, tail fins down, a Reaper.

The MQ-1 Predator and MQ-9 Reaper drones both function to collect information through surveillance; both can carry weapons. The MQ9 Reaper drone, which the USAF refers to as a “hunter-killer” vehicle, can carry two 500 pound bombs as well as several Hellfire missiles. Creech Air Force Base is headquarters for coordinating the latest high tech weapons that use unmanned aerial systems (UASs) for surveillance and increasingly lethal attacks in Pakistan, Afghanistan and Iraq. The Unmanned Aerial Vehicles, (UAVs), take off from runways in the country of origin, controlled by a pilot, nearby, “on the ground.” But once many of the UAVs are airborne, teams inside trailers at Creech Air Force base and other U. S. sites begin to control them.

We’ve become more skilled in spotting and hearing the vehicles.

But, we want to acknowledge that Creech Air Force base pilots guiding surveillance missions over areas of Pakistan and Afghanistan, where they are ordered to hunt down Taliban fighters, are absorbing and processing information which we wish they could disclose to us. Trainers at the base have arranged for a contractor to hire “extras” to pose as insurgents, walking about the range inside the base, so that pilots training for combat can practice shooting them. This is all done by simulation. Sometimes flares are set up to simulate plumes of smoke representing pretended battle scenes. But when the pilots fly drones over actual land in Pakistan and Afghanistan, they can see faces; they can gain a sense for the terrain and study the infrastructure. A drone’s camera can show them pictures of everyday life in a region most of us never think much about. We should be thinking about the cares and concerns of people who have been enduring steady attacks, displacement, economic stress, and, amongst the most impoverished, insufficient supplies of food, water and medicine. The Pentagon stated, today, that the situation in Pakistan is dire. We agree. Pakistanis have faced dire shortages of goods needed to sustain basic human rights. Security issues such as food security, provision of health care, and development of education can’t be addressed by sending more and more troops into a region, or by firing missiles and dropping bombs. In the past few days, the Taliban have responded to U.S. drone attacks with attacks of their own and with threats of further retaliation which have provoked renewed drone attacks by the United States. Are we to believe that the predictable spiral of violence is the only way forward? Antagonisms against the US in Pakistan, Afghanistan and Iraq will be reduced when we actively respond to the reality revealed to us by the drones’ own surveillance cameras: severe poverty and a crumbling or nonexistent infrastructure. Human interaction, negotiation, diplomacy and dialogue, not surveillance and bombing by robots, will ensure a more peaceful future at home and abroad. We can’t see what the drones’ “pilots” can see through the camera-eye of the surveillance vehicle. But, we can see a pattern in the way that the U.S. government sells or markets yet another war strategy in an area of the world where the U.S. wants to dominate other people’s precious resources and control or develop transportation routes. We’ve heard before that the U.S. must go to war to protect human rights of people in the war zone and to enhance security of U.S. people. Certainly, the U.S. is nervous because Pakistan possesses a “nuclear asset,” that is to say, nuclear bombs. But so do other states that have been reckless and dangerous in the conduct of their foreign policy, particularly the United States and Israel.

At the gates of Creech Air Force Base, our signs read: “Ground the Drones…Lest You Reap the Whirlwind,” and “Ending War: Our Collective Responsibility.” Our statement says: “Proponents of the use of UASs insist that there is a great advantage to fighting wars in ‘real-time’ by ‘pilots’ sitting at consoles in offices on air bases far from the dangerous front line of military activity. With less risk to the lives of U.S. soldiers and hence to the popularity and careers of politicians, the deaths of ‘enemy’ noncombatants by the thousands are counted acceptable. The illusion that war can be waged with no domestic cost dehumanizes both us and our enemies. It fosters a callous disregard for human life that can lead to even more recklessness on the part of politicians.

” We hope that U.S. people will take a closer look at our belief that peace will come through generous love and through human interaction, negotiation, dialogue and diplomacy, and not through robots armed with missiles.

Kathy Kelly is a co-coordinator of Voices for Creative Nonviolence and the author of Other Lands Have Dreams (published by CounterPunch/AK Press). Her email is kathy@vcnv.org

Brian Terrell (terrellcpm@yahoo.com) lives and works at the Strangers and Guests Catholic Worker Farm in Maloy, IA.

Via gmail.com

Longtime indigenous activists honored by IITC for their work to protect sacred sites

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SAN FRANCISCO – On March 7, two longtime indigenous activists, Carrie Dann, Western Shoshone and Manny Pino, Acoma Pueblo, were honored by the International Indian Treaty Council for their lifelong work to protect sacred places. Both received the Human Rights Defenders award during the Indigenous Peoples Struggles to Defend Sacred Places training and symposium at San Francisco State University.

Dann and her sister Mary (now deceased) have been on the forefront to protect the traditional lands of the Western Shoshone for more than 40 years. She has worked diligently through litigation and civil disobedience to defend Western Shoshone lands, treaty rights and sacred places such as Mt. Tenabo from international gold mining corporations, the nuclear industry and the U.S. government. Both the United Nations and the Organization of American States have supported the Western Shoshone struggle and most recently the UN Committee on the Elimination of Racial Discrimination condemned the actions of the U.S.

Pino has worked many years to protect traditional indigenous lands and peoples from the destruction caused by uranium mining and defending sacred places such as Mt. Taylor and the San Francisco Peaks. Uranium mining has had a lasting effect on the indigenous peoples from the southwestern part of the U.S. where mines were opened to aid in the production of the world’s first nuclear weapons. Most of its victims, including Diné (Navajo) and Pueblo miners and their families, were unaware of the dangers of exposure. Pino has played a key role in raising awareness of this issue including the impacts of uranium and other types of mining on sacred sites.



Harry Reid, Gold Member

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in the back of goldie’s, a dive bar in Elko, Nevada, I was talking rocks with a miner with a steadily growing heap of beer bottles in front of him. He was about 50, with a sun-scorched face and a starched cowboy shirt, and refused to give his name. “With a high school degree you can make $70,000 a year here,” he boasted, though he fretted that President Barack Obama “will probably screw us with taxes.” He was a supervisor for Barrick Gold, a Canadian mining conglomerate with several big operations near Elko, including Betze-Post, a four-square-mile open pit that’s the nation’s most productive gold mine. Lighting a Camel and flagging a bartender, he ordered a shot of Jägermeister and another for the curvaceous stripper in his arms. “He’s got money—and a good heart,” she told me, before leaning in to nibble the miner’s ear.

Elko is the wind-blasted heart of Nevada’s mining country. The five surrounding counties produce all of the state’s copper, almost a third of its silver, and nearly 90 percent of its gold. In 2007, mines in Nevada extracted nearly 190 tons of gold—three times the total yield in all other states. Only China, Australia, and South Africa dig up more. A billboard on the edge of town proclaims in a Victorian scrawl, “Discover the new economic gold rush.”


Western Shoshone activist urges attention to mining’s destruction of tribal heritage

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BOULDER, Colo. – Carrie Dann, iconic voice for Western Shoshone traditionalists, told an audience that Mount Tenabo in northeast Nevada sits atop gold deposits worth $8 billion to the mining industry, but it is central to tribal religious practices and “a lot of our creation stories stem from there.”

A federal judge in Nevada denied tribal and environmentalists’ request for an injunction against Barrick Gold Corp.’s nearly 7,000-acre Cortez Hills Project that places a huge open-pit, cyanide heap-leach gold mine at Mount Tenabo. A notice of appeal from that ruling was filed in the 9th Circuit Court Feb. 9.

“We are the only ones the international corporations and the United States government can hear,” Dann said, explaining that while everything has life, human beings must be “a voice to protect those spirits that cannot speak for themselves.”



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