North American Indigenous Mining Summit

 

Impacted Communities from North America Build United Strategies Against Mining

 

Over 200 Indigenous Peoples and non-native allies from all over Turtle Island (North America) came together mid-June in Mole Lake, Wisconsin, the homeland of the Mole Lake Band of Sokaogon Chippewa, to begin to build a united strategy against destructive mining on and near Indigenous lands locally and globally.

Co-sponsored by the Sokaogon Chippewa Community of Mole Lake and the Indigenous Mining Campaign Project (a partnership between the Indigenous Environmental Network and Project Underground), the Indigenous Mining Summit brought communities currently experiencing the detrimental impacts of mining, like the Din� (Navajo), the Hopi, and the Gros Ventre to meet communities that are fighting proposed mines like the Sokaogon Chippewa of Mole Lake, the Mohawk, the Menominee Nation, and the Quechan.

"We are evolving as a movement of native peoples. The program and goals of the summit encompassed our traditional values and responsibilities and provided a space for those of us impacted by the same issue to learn and organize together locally, nationally and internationally," said Tom Goldtooth, National Director of the Indigenous Environmental Network.

The summit was a traditional gathering that began with the lighting of the sacred fire. On the morning of each day there was a sunrise ceremony and prayers were said throughout to strengthen and support the intentions and work of summit participants. The opening invocation was done by Mole Lake tribal member/elder Fred Ackley, and the Mole Lake Drum group sang the opening songs. Tom Goldtooth formally opened up the circle as the Master of Ceremonies and everyone was welcomed to Mole Lake by tribal chairwoman, Sandra Rachel.

On the first day, summit participants gave an educational overview of mining and its impacts on Indigenous communities in the United States, Canada, and internationally with a special focus on the Mole Lake community�s struggle against the proposed Crandon Mine. Delegates returning from the World Summit on Sustainable Development, PrepCom IV meeting in Bali, Indonesia, helped to connect the struggles of Indigenous Peoples internationally who are facing increased threats of mining due to economic globalization.

For the last 26 years, the Sokaogon Chippewa community, along with other local tribes, environmental organizations, and citizens have successfully prevented the construction of the Crandon Mine, an underground copper/zinc mine proposed for a site just one mile away from the community�s reservation. One of the key ingredients of success against the mine is the alliance between native and non-native peoples that crossed entrenched racial barriers to build a united resistance for the pristine Wolf River watershed.

"Our alliances brought together Indigenous peoples with sportfishing groups, environmentalists with unionists, and rural residents with urban students. This is perhaps the broadest environmental alliance in the state of Wisconsin's history, and it would not have been possible without the tribes' treaty rights and sovereign rights," said Zoltan Grossman of the Midwest Treaty Network. The proposed mine, now owned by BHP Billiton, has changed hands five times over the past 26 years, and each mining company that has attempted to push the mine forward has met with unprecedented Native and non-Native resistance.

A large number of summit participants were youth from affected communities, because mining impacts all stages of life, including elders and youth. Youth from all over the US and Canada attended the summit- like the Hopi/Din� Black Mesa Water Coalition from Arizona, the Native Youth Movement (representing 36 chapters across Canada and the United States) and the San Francisco-based International Indian Treaty Council�s Youth Program.

"We gathered to galvanize the urgency of youth organizations already fighting mining and the impacts on their land, culture and communities. We created a concrete plan of action for the next three years and our goals include becoming self-sufficient as we build the movement, creating support systems and empowering youth," said Heather Milton, Youth Coordinator for the Indigenous Environmental Network.

The final two days of the Indigenous Mining Summit focused on building a united strategy against unwanted and destructive mining that is proposed or currently taking place. The Sage Council, a community-based organization in New Mexico that works to stop the construction of an extension of the Paseo del Norte highway through the Petroglyph National Forrest, taught summit participants a method of strategizing called "power mapping".

Originally developed by Anthony Thingpen with the Environmental and Economic Justice Program, out of Los Angeles, California, power mapping is used to plot key decision makers, the kind of power they have, where the power of civil society lies, and what a community can do to change the power dynamics in a given situation.

"Everyone who experienced the power mapping process thought that it was very dynamic. It revealed to them where the actual power and decision making occurs. It clearly showed participants ways to access that power and what strategies to undertake to empower ourselves. We hope that everyone will be able to take home with them the power mapping process so that they can utilize it in their local struggles to access power," said Coleen Poler, on-the-ground organizer of the Indigenous Mining Summit, Board member of IEN and a Mole Lake Tribal Member.

Four working groups were formed at the end of the summit, called Youth, Metals, Uranium, and Coal. These working groups will continue the work of building a united strategy against unwanted and destructive mining and will use the base work of the Indigenous Mining Summit as a foundation.

"The Summit has helped to strengthen the struggles of all of our people against destructive mining practices. We want to share the success we have had in preventing the Crandon Mine from being approved. We want to assist other communities in building their campaigns and we want to combine our struggles into a powerful force," said Poler.



SOURCE: By Sayo�:kla Kindness, Indigenous Mining Campaign Project mining organizer, June 28, 2002.


North American Indigenous Mining Summit


Mole Lake Sokaogon Chippewa Community,
(Wisconsin site of the proposed Crandon mine)
June 12-15, 2002

External link to POSTER
http://www.ienearth.org/ims-poster.html


The Sokaogon Chippewa Community is hosting the North American Indigenous Mining Summit during June 12-15, 2002. The North American Indigenous Mining Summit is co-sponsored by The Sokaogon Chippewa Community, The Indigenous Mining Campaign Project which is a partnership between The Indigenous Environmental Network and Project Underground.

The theme of the mining summit is
"UNITING TO ADDRESS MINING IN INDIAN COUNTRY"
with and emphasis on
"PRESERVING MOTHER EARTH BY EMPOWERING HER PEOPLES".

The mining summit will focus on hard rock mining, gold mining, uranium mining, coal mining and other mining on and near Indigenous lands. This summit will be a consolidation of knowledge from Indigenous people and their non-native allies, which will produce a working document (schematic) to help communities create perpetual alliances and foster effective campaigns.

The purpose of the mining summit is to bring Indigenous people together from across Turtle Island (United States, Canada and Mexico) to develop strategies (a strategic working document) to empower their communities through:

Mining 101-an introduction to mining on and near Indigenous lands-the irreversible effects on land, people, culture (sacred sites, traditional knowledge, physiological effects, psychological effects, internalized oppression, etc.)

Networking-forming perpetual alliances with other Indigenous and Non-Indigenous communities and NGOs. Power mapping-to understand the structural politics of the decision making process and to ensure Indigenous Communities have a voice in the decisions effecting their lands

Corporate Campaigning-how communities can effectively protect themselves against corporate controlled legislation

WTO (World Trade Organization), NAFTA (North American Free Trade Agreement), Trip�s (Trade Related Intellectual Properties Rights), IMF-(International Monetary Fund), IJC (International Joint Commission) and the World Bank-teaching communities that 20% of the world�s population control 80% of the world�s assets and how communities can effectively control their destiny by understanding how these organizations impact them through globalization

Government to Government relationships-(DOD, EPA, DOI, DOE, federal, state, and provincial legislatures) emphasis on current laws, executive orders, proposed legislation and concept which can be used to protect Indigenous Communities: TAS, NAGPRA, TEPA�s, NEPA, Sacred Sites, Historical Preservation, Environmental Justice, Precautionary Principal, UN Declaration on Human Rights, Environmental Health, Delegated Authority

Right to food and food security-Discussion of the upcoming United Nations Rio+10 World Summit on Sustainable Development and Globalization

Effective communication and fundraising-teaching communities members effective communication concepts and fundraising techniques

The final product of the summit will be a comprehensive working document (working schematic) which will be the blue print for communities to form perpetual alliances and foster effective campaigns.

We are asking for your support in the following areas:

Volunteers: for security, cooking, daycare, first aid and Sacred fire keepers.

Donations: monetary, posting information/flyers in your newspaper and on your web sites, airtime on radio stations, and food.

 


NORTH AMERICAN INDIGENOUS MINING SUMMIT
*DRAFT* AGENDA
Wednesday, June 12, 2002
Sunrise: Sunrise Ceremony and lighting of Sacred fire
9:00 a.m. WELCOMING ACTIVITIES
  •  IEN Welcoming Statement
  • Sokaogon Chippewa Community Welcoming Statement
  • Camping and Conference Ground Rules
  • Youth Activities and Youth Participation
  • Spiritual Guidelines on the Sacred Fire, Purification Lodges and ceremonies
  • Translators
11:00 a.m. Healing Ceremony/Spirit Walk Run
12:00p.m. - 1:00 p.m. lunch
1:00 p.m. Overview of Mining near and on Indigenous lands: Canada, United States and Mexico
1:30 p.m. -
4:30 p.m.
PLENARIES
  • Mining 101-an introduction and overview of mining near and on Indigenous land, 1872 Mining Act, 1990-1992 Mining Acts (surface mining). Executive Orders currently effecting Indigenous Peoples.
  • Power mapping/Influence mapping-effecting legislative change, power analysis, Tribal Sovereignty
  • Strategy Mapping: Creation of a schematic for (critical thinking) action
  • Conflict Resolution-understanding internalized oppression
  • Indigenous rights in Canada, the US and Mexico
  • Corporate Campaign Overview
  • Effective communication maintenance and fundraising
  • Government to Government relationships: US EPA, DOI, DOD, DOE, federal, state and provincial legislatures
  • WTO-World Trade Organization
  • NAFTA-North American Free Trade Agreement, TRIP�s-Trade Related Intellectual Property Rights
  • IMF-International Monetary Fund
  • IJC-International Joint Commission
  • World Bank
  • United Nations-Rio+10 World Summit on Sustainable Development and Globalization
  • Human Rights
  • Right to food and food security
  • Traditional Knowledge (Precautionary Principal)
  • Environmental Justice and Environmental Health
  • Physiological, Physiological, Sociological and Cultural effects of mining and extraction
  • Sacred Sites, Historical Preservation, NAGPRA, TEPA�s, NEPA in Indian Country
  • Treatment as State
  • Delegated Authority

YOUTH PROGRAM: will be similar to the items listed above but with an emphasis on assertiveness training, decolonization and youth empowerment, traditional/cultural preservation (traditional governments), multimedia communications, networking and establishing perpetual alliances, fundraising and action planning.

 

Thursday, June 13, 2002
Sunrise Sunrise Ceremony
9:00 a.m. PLENARIES
  • Mining 101-an introduction and overview of mining near and on Indigenous land, 1872 Mining Act, 1990-1992 Mining Acts (surface mining). Executive Orders currently effecting Indigenous Peoples.
  • Power mapping/Influence mapping-effecting legislative change, power analysis, Tribal Sovereignty
  • Strategy Mapping: Creation of a schematic for (critical thinking) action
  • Conflict Resolution-understanding internalized oppression
  • Indigenous rights in Canada, the US and Mexico
  • Corporate Campaign Overview _Effective communication maintenance and fundraising
  • Government to Government relationships: US EPA, DOI, DOD, DOE, federal, state and provincial legislatures
  • WTO-World Trade Organization _NAFTA-North American Free Trade Agreement, TRIP�s-Trade Related Intellectual Property Rights
  • IMF-International Monetary Fund
  • IJC-International Joint Commission
  • World Bank
  • United Nations-Rio+10 World Summit on Sustainable Development and Globalization
  • Human Rights
  • Right to food and food security
  • Traditional Knowledge _Environmental Justice and Environmental Health
  • Physiological, Physiological, Sociological and Cultural effects of mining and extraction
  • Sacred Sites, Historical Preservation, NAGPRA, TEPA�s, NEPA in Indian Country
  • Treatment as State
  • Delegated Authority

YOUTH PROGRAM: will be similar to the items listed above but with an emphasis on assertiveness training, decolonization and youth empowerment, traditional/cultural preservation (traditional governments), multimedia communications, networking and establishing perpetual alliances, fundraising and action planning.

 

Friday , June 14, 2002
Sunrise Sunrise Ceremony
9:00 a.m. PLENARIES
  • Mining 101-an introduction and overview of mining near and on Indigenous land, 1872 Mining Act, 1990-1992 Mining Acts (surface mining). Executive Orders currently effecting Indigenous Peoples.
  • Power mapping/Influence mapping-effecting legislative change, power analysis, Tribal Sovereignty
  • Strategy Mapping: Creation of a schematic for (critical thinking) action
  • Conflict Resolution-understanding internalized oppression
  • Indigenous rights in Canada, the US and Mexico
  • Corporate Campaign Overview
  • Effective communication maintenance and fundraising
  • Government to Government relationships: US EPA, DOI, DOD, DOE, federal, state and provincial legislatures
  • WTO-World Trade Organization
  • NAFTA-North American Free Trade Agreement, TRIP�s-Trade Related Intellectual Property Rights
  • IMF-International Monetary Fund
  • IJC-International Joint Commission
  • World Bank
  • United Nations-Rio+10 World Summit on Sustainable Development and Globalization _Human Rights
  • Right to food and food security
  • Traditional Knowledge
  • Environmental Justice and Environmental Health
  • Physiological, Physiological, Sociological and Cultural effects of mining and extraction
  • Sacred Sites, Historical Preservation, NAGPRA, TEPA�s, NEPA in Indian Country
  • Treatment as State
  • Delegated Authority

YOUTH PROGRAM: will be similar to the items listed above but with an emphasis on assertiveness training, decolonization and youth empowerment, traditional/cultural preservation (traditional governments), multimedia communications, networking and establishing perpetual alliances, fundraising and action planning.

 

Saturday, June 15, 2002
Sunrise Sunrise Ceremony
9:00 a.m.
  • Draft Strategic Plans overviewed (working groups and youth working groups)
  • Position Papers, Joint Resolutions


Closing Ceremony

 

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