Indigenous Peoples and Human Rights

April 19, 2023

Lithium Mining is Green Colonialism -- Duck Valley Shoshone-Paiute Appeal to UN Forum on Indigenous Issues


 Duck Valley Paiute-Shoshone Council Member Addie Parker/Image by Censored News

Lithium Mining is Green Colonialism -- Duck Valley Paiute-Shoshone Appeal to UN Forum on Indigenous Issues

By Brenda Norrell

Censored News
April 19, 2023
French translation by Christine Prat

NEW YORK -- Duck Valley Shoshone-Paiute Council Member Addie Parker appealed to the U.N. Permanent Forum on Indigenous Issues today, describing the disastrous lithium mining and hydrocarbon plume her people suffer from in northern Nevada. Parker said there has been extensive mining here for over 150 years.

The "new green gold rush" for lithium batteries has brought devastating lithium mining and "green colonialism." Currently, there are 70 lithium mining applications in Nevada alone. The so-called "green" solution actually creates an environmental nightmare, including the disposal of batteries.

Parker said there must be a rights-based approach and pointed out that Nevada mining laws are archaic. Paiute Shoshone of Duck Valley Nation opposes more mining and Nevada's new law for increased revenues from mining.

Since the signing of the Treaty of Ruby Valley in 1863, there has been no mechanism for tribes to share in the benefits of mining. The mining companies are multi-national corporations and most are from Canada. They are not required to compensate the people.

'It violates our Indigenous rights," Parker said, listing international law violations, including the free, prior, and informed consent as mandated in the UN Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples.

President Biden's order to consult with tribes is also being violated.

Describing the illegal exploration of their resources, she said Paiute-Shoshone children are suffering because of it.

"We can't even get money to build a new school," Parker said, describing how children are forced to attend school on a toxic site.

Read more: Cancer cluster at Duck Valley

More than 100 members of the Shoshone-Paiute Tribes of the Duck Valley Nation, on the Nevada-Idaho border, have died over the years due to cancer. It is a large number for a tribe of about 3,000 people, reports the Las Vegas Review-Journal. There was one thing they had in common: they all attended the same school on the reservation.

"The 70-year-old Owyhee Combined School, where tribal members have been educated for generations, sits adjacent to hydrocarbon plumes that lie underneath the town, Chairman Brian Mason said. He thinks the school, where drinking water was once contaminated by the plumes, is the root of the problem."

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1 comment:

Lloyd Vivola said...

"Green colonialism". Excellent choice of words! Tell it like it is!