Indigenous Peoples and Human Rights

July 31, 2023

United Nations: Black Hills Under Threat from Mining: Water is Defining Issue

United Nations: Black Hills Under Threat from Mining: Water is Defining Issue

By Brenda Norrell, Censored News, July 31, 2023

GENEVA -- The sacred Black Hills are under threat from mining companies, threatening the water sources, Wakinyan LaPointe, Lakota, told the United Nations Expert Mechanism on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples.

"Our sacred Black Hills are under threat of destruction by multinational mining corporations and lack of state preventative measures," LaPointe told the United Nations EMRIP, which reports to the UN Human Rights Council.

"The sacred Black Hills located within Lakota homelands are protected under the 1851 and 1868 Fort Laramie Treaties, ratified by the United States and the Lakota Nation and proclaimed the Supreme Law of the Land."

Sicangu Lakota, Rosebud, representing AIM West, joined Indigenous around the world during the weeklong session, July 17 --21, which exposed militarization, loss of homelands, and widespread human rights abuses.

"I remember the spiritual demands of Lakota leaders who came to the United Nations before me: Mni Ki Wakan, Mni Ki Wiconi, Mni Ki Pejuta, prayerful calls to action for the rights of our sacred waters echoed throughout the Kyoto Water Declaration, at Standing Rock; at every river, lake, tributary, and ocean held sacred to Indigenous Peoples and youth," LaPointe told the U.N.

"Under articles 37 and 25 of UNDRIP, I call on relevant Special Procedures, the United Nations Permanent Forum on Indigenous Issues, and the Expert Mechanism on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples to initiate the process for a thematic study on Indigenous water rights, surfacing the systemic cultural, economic, and political inequities of water colonialism, and identifying issues, programs of action, and recommendations."

LaPointe said he welcomes dialogue with relevant special procedures, and Expert members of EMRIP, and the United Nations Permanent Forum on Indigenous Issues.

LaPointe, a United Nations Programme Fellow, made it clear that water will be the defining issue.

"The escalating impacts of global warming, climate change, and capitalistic corporate-state water markets will increasingly threaten the futurity of Indigenous water rights. In the final analysis, water will be the defining issue."

LaPointe is co-convener of the Mni Ki Wakan Summit, "Indigenous Water Justice, Global Collaboration, and  Dismantling Water Colonialism," which will be held in Rapid City, South Dakota, August 15-17.

Currently, Midwest Lithium plans to drill test holes for lithium in the Black Hills, where Lakota have been battling a new gold mine and the long-term effects of uranium mines.

Midwest's South Dakota subsidiary, SDO Services, plans to drill up to 55 holes in an area that was historically mined for lithium about 2 miles northeast of Mount Rushmore National Memorial. The former Etta mine, near the project area, was the largest source of lithium in the U.S. for decades, according to Midwest Lithium.

Censored News original series from UN Expert Mechanism on Rights of Indigenous Peoples

 Part I: Lakota, Eyak -- U.N. Hears of Devastation for Indigenous Peoples, and Stories of Hope
  Part II: Peru, Tohono O'odham Russia --Impact of Militarization on Indigenous Peoples: Murder with Impunity from Peru to the Tohono O'odham Nation
  Part III Mohawks, more: Defending Sacred Places and Sacred Rights at the United Nations
  Russia's Indigenous share common battle with Paiute Shoshone: Battling disastrous fake green mining for electric car batteries
  Philippines labels defenders terrorists to silence them

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