Jun 28, 2023
In some cases, it's hard to figure out who's right and who's wrong. This may be one of them.
On Tuesday, a native tribe, along with others, tried to get a court to stop a mining project. They have called the project, “green colonialism.” They argue it’ll destroy a site of great cultural and historic value, and pollute the water. They say it will hurt animals. However, this $2.2 billion, 5,000-acre lithium mine in Nevada is supported by the Biden Administration.
The government and a mining company say the site has the largest amount of lithium in the US. They say this mine is vital to Biden's goal of having half of the cars in the US be electric by 2030. Lithium batteries are used to power electric vehicles. They also store power on wind and solar farms.
The mine is in northern Nevada. It's about 45 miles from the Fort McDermitt Paiute-Shoshone reservation. Federal troops killed at least 31 Paiutes there in 1865. Work on the mine started in early March. This was after a court denied a request to delay it.
Deb Haaland is the US interior Secretary. She supports the project. Haaland is Laguna Pueblo. She is also the nation’s first Indigenous presidential cabinet member. She told the AP “the need for our clean energy economy to move forward is definitely important.”
Michon Eben works to preserve Indigenous history in Nevada. She is upset that Haaland supports the project. She wishes Haaland would talk to the local people to understand their feelings.
“You can’t mine your way out of a climate crisis,” Eben said.
Photo from Reuters.
Reflect: Do you think it is possible to balance the need for clean energy with the need to preserve cultural and/or environmental resources? Explain.
Strengthening the Presence of the Indigenous Peoples of Oregon
In this lesson, students learn the distinct ways of Indigenous peoples, how colonization damaged their lands and natural resources, and generate ideas to repair some of the damage.
Beings on the Move
This lesson plan includes printables and directions for an activity to teach students about the impact climate change will have on different Wisconsin species that are important to local Indigenous tribes.
Oregon Field Guide - Salmon People: The Fight to Preserve a Way of Life
This 26-minute video tells the story of a Native American family along the Columbia River and describes their struggles with declining salmon populations due to dams, overfishing, and climate change.