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Western Shoshone protest Barrick Gold's destruction on sacred Mount Tenabo on Wednesday. Shoshone call for help to establish an encampment.
Sunday, 07 December 2008 16:23
goldArticle by Brenda Norrell - Photos by Lisa Wolf

While most Americans enjoyed Thanksgiving last week, Western Shoshone protested the devastation on their sacred Mount Tenabo, as Barrick Gold ripped out pine trees by the roots on this ceremonial mountain for gold mining.

As Barrick Gold continues its practice of genocide, targeting Indigenous Peoples territories around the world, Barrick is destroying Mount Tenabo for one of the United States largest open pit gold mines. The Cortez Hills Expansion Project is at the flank of the mountain where Shoshone carry out sweatlodges and other ceremonies.

Shoshone called for help and an immediate encampment to protect sacred Mount Tenabo.

Earlier this week, several Western Shoshone tribes and non-profit indigenous and environmental organizations filed a restraining order in the federal District Court in Reno against the construction of the proposed mine site.Unable to wait for the hearing that is scheduled for early next week and the mine’s continual slaughter of the pinion forest, the Western Shoshone grandmothers and supporters traveled to the site demanding Barrick to stop cutting the trees.

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"As heavy machinery used to tear out the pinion trees came to halt upon the arrival of the Shoshones, Barrick Gold employees ignored the Shoshone’s demand that they cease the clear cutting. They witnessed piles of pinion and other trees strewn across the landscape and unfenced polluted ponds," Western Shoshone said in a joint statement.

“Today we went to a war zone, a war zone against the trees by the Barrick Gold Company. If people can eat or drink gold to sustain life, maybe we can call it a sacrifice of the life of trees, trees that gives us pine nuts and other medicinal uses,” stated Carrie Dann, Western Shoshone grandmother and executive director of the Western Shoshone Defense Project.The Western Shoshone had lived in the area of Mount Tenabo since the beginning of time.

Today it is the homelands to local Shoshones and continues to be the home to Shoshone creation stories, spirit life, medicinal foods and plants as well as a site for spiritual and ceremonial practices. Mount Tenabo is in the heart of Western Shoshone territory and is part of the ancestral lands that has been identified and recognized as Western Shoshone territory through the ratification of the Treaty of Ruby Valley between the Western Shoshone and the United States.

“The mining company and the Bureau of Land Management are trespassing on the Western Shoshone treaty land and are destroying our mountains, trees, food, medicine and leaving dirty polluted water ponds that are wide open making it unsafe to the birds and animals. Why doesn’t the mining company go dig up the Vatican or the Mormon Tabernacle instead of Western Shoshone lands, I’m sure they will find gold there, because this is what you are doing to our mountains and trees," said Mary McCloud, Western Shoshone grandmother.

Earlier this year, Barrick attorneys halted release of a book exposing the global genocide and atrocities of Barrick Gold. The book launch for Noir Canada: Pillage, corruption et criminalité en Afrique, edited by Alain Denault and the Collectif Ressources d'Afrique out of Montréal, was halted when the authors and publishers (Édition Écosociété) received letters from a law firm representing Barrick Gold, according to the Dominion in Canada.

Barrick has also sued The Guardian and The Observer over published articles about the Bulyanhulu massacre in Tanzania.

The book exposes Barrick's advantageous mining contracts, partnerships with arms dealers and mercenaries in the Great Lakes region, miners buried alive in Tanzania, an "involuntary genocide" by poisoning in Mali, brutal expropriations in Ghana, using people from the Ivory Coast for pharmaceutical testing, devastating hydroelectric projects in Senegal and the savage privatization of the railway system in West Africa.

For more information, or to help, Western Shoshone: Western Shoshone Defense Project

So-Ho-Bi (South Fork) office: 775-744-2565 (fax and phone) Main office:P.O. Box 211308Crescent Valley, NV 89821

Newe Sogobi775-468-0230775-468-0237 (fax)

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