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Lakota tribes, grassroots close ranks to defend Black Hills watersheds

Forest Service responds with 20-year proposed ban on mining activity RAPID CITY, S.D. — When federal agencies responded positively in 2023 to citizen pleas to prevent a “modern gold rush” in the fabled Black Hills, it was a milestone for a decades-long grassroots movement defending the region’s habitat from looming mega-mining. Tribal and nonprofit organizations […]

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Mine Resisters Denounce the Dangers of the New "White Gold" Rush

Canada, U.S., Mexico Lithium Contagion Calls for Urgent Care

Editor’s Note: The U.S. eleventh-hour climate policy — to pin global greenhouse gas reduction on the proliferation of individual electric vehicles made with lithium exclusively from the American continent — appears to be having a domino effect nationally and in countries south of the border. In April, when Chile’s President Gabriel Boric announced his intention […]

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Botany as archaeology, to save a sacred site from a lithium mine

“First foods” survey reveals an ancient kinship of place with a “horticulture based in endearment”

Nikki Hill is a “first foods” specialist who has studied the patterns of pre-colonial horticulture throughout the American West — most controversially above the largest known lithium deposit of its kind. Thacker Pass, Nevada, or Peehee Mu’huh by its Paiute name, was fast-tracked by Donald Trump for a large lithium mine in the last days […]

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Ecuador: After National Strike, extractivism and equity debate begins

Large-scale mining and oil extraction go to the dialogue table along with economic relief measures for the poor

QUITO, Ecuador— The National Strike this summer in Ecuador mobilized people from all 24 of its provinces, concentrated thousands of protesters in the city of Quito, and lasted 18 days. Although it has left as a consequence, so far, seven people dead, this new social outbreak compelled important advances in the fight for the defense […]

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Small-town citizens get creative in Black Hills uranium mine fight

Ballot initiative would declare mining a 'nuisance' — a way to protect treasured springs under seige

This summer, Hot Springs citizens scored a breakthrough: They collected enough signatures to obtain a ballot measure that would declare mining a “nuisance” in Fall River County.

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Tribes and water protectors ward off new Black Hills gold rush

Treaty rights advocates denounce mining exploration permits in 'The Heart of All That Is'

SILVER CITY, South Dakota — The moment the U.S. Forest Service posted its July notice of a draft decision to permit gold prospecting at Jenny Gulch here in the Black Hills, tribes, water protectors and treaty rights defenders turned out in droves to ward off the project and others like it. The Black Hills make […]

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Celebrating Katira: 65 Years of Magic and Activism

7 stories with the shamanic protagonist of 'The Last Peyote Guardians'

I met Juan José Uxamuire “Katira” Ramírez 10 years ago this coming February. I had just come down from the mountaintop of Cerro Quemado, the Birthplace of the Sun, along with about a thousand other pilgrims, gathered there in a historic all-night ceremony to pray for the salvation of the sacred desert of Wirikuta from […]

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Oak Flat: Fresh hope for menaced Apache sacred land

Biden tribal consultation memo waylays giant Apache Leap copper mine 

OAK FLAT, Arizona — To make good on Joe Biden’s recent Presidential Memorandum for tribal consultation and strengthening nation-to-nation relationships, the U.S. Forest Service on has rescinded its permit for a massive foreign copper mine that would engulf sacred Apache sites here. For years, the two biggest metal mining companies in the world, Rio Tinto […]

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Defending the Birthplace of the Sun

Wixárika People mark a decade of struggle against the extractive industries in the sacred desert of Wirikuta

It’s been a decade now since Mexico experienced its Standing Rock moment.  It was the native Wixárika people—better known  internationally by their Spanish name, the  Huicholes—who galvanized a global movement  with their call for help. In the north-central  state of San Luis Potosí, one of their most  sacred sites—the Birthplace of the Sun—was  being readied for […]

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Remembering Yuka+ye: Wixarika teacher and activist left a storied legacy

Story and photos by Tracy L. Barnett For El Daily Post While most people were celebrating the holidays, others  from Canada to Mexico mourned the loss of a leading Wixarika scholar and teacher, a cultural ambassador and an indigenous activist whose work on behalf of indigenous unity spanned North America. Yuka+ye Jesús Lara Chivarra’s path […]

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Huicholes Film wins best documentary: Red Nation Film Festival

The film Huicholes: The Last Peyote Guardians has won Best Documentary Film by the Red Nation Film Festival, the premier showcase for Native American and Indigenous film in the United States. The award was shared with The Life, Blood and Rhythm of Randy Castillo, by director Wynn Ponder and producer Johnny Depp. The selection was […]

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Film chronicles the movement to save a sacred land and a visionary culture

The film Huicholes: The Last Peyote Guardians will be on a North American tour with 30+ screenings in more than 20 cities in the United States and Canada, with the U.S. premiere at Rice Theater in Houston, Texas, and theCanadian premiere hosted by Cinema Politica in Montreal, Quebec. The documentary presents the emblematic case of […]

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Interview with the Last Peyote Guardians: Marakame José Luis "Katira" Ramírez and son

José Luis “Katira” Ramírez was serving as the governor of his community of San Andrés Cohamiata, Jalisco, when he met Argentine filmmaker Hernán Vilchez. He was not like any governor Vilchez had ever met.

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Interview with directors of Huicholes: The Last Peyote Guardians

When Argentine filmmaker Hernán Vílchez made his way up into the remote Wixarika community of San Andrés Cohamiata Tateikie high in the Western Sierra Madre of Mexico, he knew he would be entering another world. What he didn’t know was how deeply it would change his own life.

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Message from the Gods in Wirikuta

Warning arrives through historic mass ceremony: 'Unite to defend the Birthplace of the Sun'

Editorial note: This historic pilgrimage occurred on Feb. 6, 2012. After much pressure from the Wixárika people and civil society, and a favorable court ruling, the mining projects were put on hold — but only time will tell how this will end. Story and photos by Tracy L. Barnett. REAL DE CATORCE, Mexico – They […]

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Salvadoran environmental activists put their lives on the line

Story and photos by Tracy L. Barnett SAN ISIDRO, Cabañas, El Salvador – We arrived in this tiny mountain community to find Father Neftali Ruíz at the head of a march for justice, with Father Luis Quintanilla and Bishop Gabriel Orellana not far behind. They were wearing white robes with brightly woven vestments draped around […]

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