The first 2010 Women’s Earth Alliance Advocacy Delegation, Defending Sacred Places in the Southwest, begins on Sunday in Elko, NV. Five dynamic, highly-skilled and experienced women advocates will spend one week meeting with indigenous women environmental justice leaders for a journey of immersive learning and collaboration.
Our Delegation will begin our journey this Sunday in northern Nevada, where the Western Shoshone people confront threats to their lifeways and holy places due to forced relocation, mineral extraction, particularly gold mining, and nuclear waste disposal. The Delegation will meet with Julie Cavanaugh-Bill, former Counsel for the Western Shoshone Defense Project and chief architect of the legal strategy that led to unprecedented international legal victories on behalf of the Western Shoshone. We will also meet Carrie Dann, Shoshone elder and outspoken environmental and human rights leader. We will visit sacred Mt. Tenabo, site of one of the largest open pit cyanide heap leach gold mines in America.
From there, the Delegation will travel to the Alpine terrain of Northern Arizona, where we’ll meet the dedicated leaders of the Save the Peaks Coalition, a movement to defend the sacred San Francisco Peaks mountain – holy to 13 tribes, including the Navajo – from desecration through the use of reclaimed wastewater as artificial snow on the mountain’s ski resort. From the Coalition’s attorney, we will learn about the cutting edge of federal and state litigation to protect sacred sites.
Finally, we will travel to the Grand Canyon, and meet with the courageous women and men at the helm of the Havasupai tribe’s campaign to protect their ancestral homelands from uranium mining. We will visit Red Butte, site of a proposed uranium mine and central to the Havasupai’s creation story.
WEA’s Advocacy Delegations are unique opportunities for women advocates and activists to come together, bridging cultures and life experiences to strengthen a shared vision of sustainability and justice on earth. During these multi-day journeys of experiential education, women advocates learn first-hand about systemic environmental injustices affecting indigenous lands and communities, connect with indigenous women leaders committed to ensuring environmental justice and indigenous rights, and expand their capacity to generate solutions to these systemic problems. Through dialogue and participatory learning, advocates build a foundation for sustained collaborative engagement with indigenous environmental justice leaders, within the Sacred Earth Advocacy Network of Women’s Earth Alliance.
Stay tuned for our posts from the road!