Article and photo by Lisa Wolf
Photo: Shoshone Bernice Lalo protesting on Mount Tenabo/Photo Lisa Wolf
CRESCENT VALLEY -- Western Shoshone protested Barrick Gold and demanded a halt to the destruction, as Barrick rips up the pine trees on sacred Mount Tenabo by the roots.
Writer Lisa Wolf conveys the comments of Shoshone to the perpetrators of genocide on this sacred mountain. As Barrick's global assault on Indigenous territories continues, the Shoshone have filed a court action to halt the desecration now underway on Mount Tenabo.
The Western Shoshone grandmothers told the Barrick employee, “This is our treaty land. It was a treaty made with the federal government. It was not made with a foreign nation. And it is a foreign mining company that has come into our country and is destroying our mountain, our land, our food, our medicine and they have no respect.”
Shoshone Elder Bernice Lalo said, “I came here because from our beliefs that we practice here on the land, we’re protesting because they will be destroying the pine trees which is very important to the land. We’re protesting because this is our land. No two ways about it; and when they come and destroy things, they’re destroying our spirituality, our ways, our beliefs” for “our children, our children’s children. So, we’re all here to protest that” because “it can’t go on. It’s perpetrating genocide against the Native American people. And we are not the only Native people suffering this distress. It is happening world over; but we happen to be Western Shoshones and this is our land and we’re protesting the poisoned water, the destruction of the land, the road we’re standing on here, the big machines: everything that the mining industry stands for. They say they’re doing it responsibly, but they’re not because when they leave the Western Shoshone people will still be here and the land will be barren.” Lalo said, “They reclaim something, but only with weeds and mounds like a big burial ground and that’s what they’re leaving us. And they’re never going to clean it out.”
Carrie Dann told Fennemore, “We want the tree cutting stopped now,” explaining, “That’s our food.”
Mary Gibson asked the Barrick employee, “What are you leaving for your grandchildren? Where is your heart? Where is that? Do you understand how important this is? This is our life.”
Dann said, “When you destroy the earth, where is the food coming from?”
One of the Grandmothers suggested, “You guys go and tear down the Vatican, the Mormon Tabernacle” which “actually have things stored. Because that’s what you’re doing to us for gold.” Read more of the Western Shoshone comments to the perpetrators of genocide: