Indigenous Peoples and Human Rights

February 25, 2024

Prayer Horse Ride 2024: In Honor of Myron Dewey

Prayer Horse Ride's Third Annual March Ride Begins March 17, in Schurz, Nevada

Reconnecting and Revitalizing Traditional Ways of Life Threatened by Destructive Mining Resource Extractions Supporting "Green Energy"

By Prayer Horse Ride, Censored News

SCHURZ, Nevada -- Prayer Horse Ride "Nanesootuhina Pookoo Goobakatudu," is getting ready to begin our annual ride March 17th-26th, from Schurz, Nevada through Yerington, Fallon, Wadsworth and Nixon, through Lovelock, then Orovada, and ending in Peehee Mu'huh (Thacker Pass in the McDermitt Caldera), in the traditional, ancestral, and unceded lands of the Paiute, Shoshone, and Bannock.

The Riders, walkers, and runners carry the prayer with each community. They'll move forward to raise awareness regarding lithium mining in Peehee Mu'huh and the McDermitt Caldera; AND also raise awareness to copper mining in the Pine Nut Hills, a holy place known to the Nuwu; in honor and remembrance of the Missing and Murdered Indigenous Women / People (MMIW/P) in Nevada; and to revitalize and restore cultural identity, languages, creativity, and supportive lifeways in our indigenous communities.

Northern Nevada is the home of the Northern Paiute, Western Shoshone, Washoe, and Bannock people. We, as descendants of them, will continue to give voices to the voiceless on Mother Earth. To all of our relations.

"We do this prayer ride to reconnect and revitalize our way of life," says Josh Dini, Sr, a member of Walker River Paiute Tribe, water protector and Prayer Horse Rider, and a member of American Indian Movement Northern Nevada (AIMNNV).

Indigenous communities in the Great Basin and McDermitt Caldera are experiencing fast-tracked mining and industrial development to support "green energy," and are threatened by ecologically and sociologically destructive resource extraction processes, most notably, lithium and copper mining, in areas in proximity to or within communities, reservations and land trusts, and sacred sites.

Heavy metals extraction poisons lands, air, and water. Sacred sites for ceremony, where ancestors are buried, where medicines grow, and where lifecycles are anchored, are destroyed.

"Copper mining in our Pine Nut Hills takes away our knowledge and our identity of who we are," says Dini, who explained the mining threatens an important Paiute medicine food, as well as numerous traditional campsites and sacred places that have been used for innumerable generations.

"We ride in honor of the people on the land before extraction industries, past - present - and future. Here in Nevada we have places important to the indigenous culture that are considered America's sacrifice zones in search of "green energy."

We are Paiute and Shoshone allied with many of the federally recognized tribes in Nevada. We lead this prayer for Mother Earth," says Gary McKinney, a Duck Valley Shoshone Paiute, water protector and Prayer Horse Rider, People of Red Mountain spokesperson, AIMNNV council member, and SIRGE Coalition Steering Committee member.

Prayer Horse Ride will visit indigenous northern Nevada communities affected by these issues including Walker River Paiute Tribe, Yerington Paiute Tribe, Fallon Paiute Shoshone Tribe, Lovelock Paiute Tribe, and Pyramid Lake Paiute Tribe. As Riders reach each community, they may share meals, engage in ceremony, share stories and songs, and teach and learn traditional arts, bringing the communities together to celebrate and remember the traditional ways.

McKinney says, "We ride to honor the land and the people - of the past, present, and the future. Life Over Lithium."

About Prayer Horse Ride: Established in 2022 to honor the late Myron Dewey, Water Protector, Paiute Shoshone journalist and drone pilot, and to continue prayers for cultural sites like Peehee Mu’huh (Thacker Pass), we are an indigenous led prayer group and community service organization that advocates for our indigenous communities, to protect what we have left and to raise your awareness to what our communities 
face, and most importantly, in gathering tribes back together to stand in unity, not by separation.

"We'll continue this ride in the Vision of our Ancestors, for Healing, Strength and Awareness, in Prayer and Unity."

Prayer Horse Riders have a story to tell and you can reach out to PHR media liaison André Wesner for inquiries:

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