A couple weeks ago, you heard from my daughter, Tokata, about some of our allyship work with our Nüümü and Newe (Paiute and Shoshone) relatives in California. At that time, she mentioned I was also on the ground in Nevada, visiting the Reno-Sparks Indian Colony (RSIC) to help develop media and outreach strategies for their frontline effort to protect the sacred PeeHee Mu’Huh (Thacker Pass) from an enormous, toxic lithium mining operation.
My trip to Thacker Pass last month was critical, and more are coming. Because mining in so-called Nevada is akin to what’s happening at Standing Rock — dangerous extraction threatening the health and safety of frontline Native communities without our consultation or consent — we must stand together, right now. That’s why, today, I’m asking for your help, in collaboration with our allies at Reno-Sparks. Please give what you can to support Lakota Law as we lend our expertise to build, sustain, and amplify a successful resistance movement at Thacker Pass.
I sat down with Reno-Sparks Indian Colony Chairman Arland D. Melendez to talk about mining’s threats to his ancestral homelands.
As you know, we Lakota understand what it looks like on the frontlines of Big Extraction. Not only did we inspire the world with our resistance to the Dakota Access pipeline (DAPL) at Standing Rock, but now we also face the same dangers as RSIC to our water and sacred lands because of lithium and gold mining in the Black Hills. At every turn, corporate interests show zero regard for our wellbeing and feel no obligation to gain our permission when their projects will rip up sacred burial grounds and deplete or poison our water.
This is why it’s critical that we continue to travel to Nüümü and Newe homelands, help strategize with their leadership about resistance approaches, and help amplify their message through media support. On that note, we’ve just completed a separate video for use by RSIC’s Tribal Historic Preservation office. Our plan going forward is to keep listening to our valued relatives at every turn and keep producing content that can help them win justice.
Wopila tanka — my deepest gratitude for helping us lend needed support!
Chase Iron Eyes
Co-Director and Lead Counsel
The Lakota People’s Law Project
P.S. Lakota Law’s movement-building and legal savvy will be essential to the success of the Nüümü and Newe peoples’ effort to protect Thacker Pass. Please help fund our travel, media, and logistical expenses so we can assist our relatives at the highest level as they fight to safeguard their water, defend their sacred lands, and preserve their way of life.