Thursday, November 27, 2008

Western Shoshone Devastation and Destruction on Mount Tenabo

Contact: Carrie Dann, Western Shoshone grandmother, (775) 468-0230

Western Shoshone Grandmothers Day of Resistance –
Devastation and Destruction Witnessed
By Western Shoshone Defense Project

(November 27, 2008, Crescent Valley, Newe Sogobi (Nevada). Western Shoshone grandmothers and other Western Shoshone supporters gathered in solidarity yesterday to oppose the clear cutting of pinion trees at the spiritual Mount Tebano where Barrick Gold Company is planning one of the country’s largest open pit gold mines known as the Cortez Hills Expansion Project at the flank of the Mountain. Earlier this week, several Western Shoshone tribes and non-profit indigenous and environmental organizations have filed a restraining order in the federal District Court in Reno, NV, against the construction of the proposed mine site.

Unable to wait for the hearing that is scheduled for early next week and the mine’s continual slaughter of the pinion forest, the Western Shoshone grandmothers and supporters traveled to the site demanding Barrick to stop cutting the trees. As heavy machinery used to tear out the pinion trees came to halt upon the arrival of the Shoshones, Barrick Gold employees ignored the Shoshone’s demand that they cease the clear cutting. They witnessed piles of pinion and other trees strewn across the landscape and unfenced polluted ponds. “Today we went to a war zone, a war zone against the trees by the Barrick Gold Company. If people can eat or drink gold to sustain life, maybe we can call it a sacrifice of the life of trees, trees that gives us pine nuts and other medicinal uses,” stated Carrie Dann, Western Shoshone grandmother and Executive Director of the Western Shoshone Defense Project.

The Western Shoshone had lived in the area of Mount Tenabo since the beginning of time. Today it is the homelands to local Shoshones and continues to be the home to Shoshone creation stories, spirit life, medicinal foods and plants as well as a site for spiritual and ceremonial practices. Mount Tenabo is in the heart of Western Shoshone territory and is part of the ancestral lands that has been identified and recognized as Western Shoshone territory through the ratification of the Treaty of Ruby Valley between the Western Shoshone and the United States. “The mining company and the Bureau of Land Management are trespassing on the Western Shoshone treaty land and are destroying our mountains, trees, food, medicine and leaving dirty polluted water ponds that are wide open making it unsafe to the birds and animals. Why doesn’t the mining company go dig up the Vatican or the Mormon Tabernacle instead of Western Shoshone lands, I’m sure they will find gold there, because this is what you are doing to our mountains and trees, stated Mary McCloud, another Western Shoshone grandmother.
Western Shoshone Defense Project
So-Ho-Bi (South Fork) office:
775-744-2565 (fax and phone)
Main office:
P.O. Box 211308
Crescent Valley, NV 89821
Newe Sogobi
775-468-0230
775-468-0237 (fax)

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