Western Mining Action Network (WMAN) Indigenous Environmental Network (IEN) Mini-Grant Recipients June 2012 1. Advocates for the Protection of Sacred Sites (APOSS), California: APOSS is a community based organization, made up of Pitt River, Wintu, Yana, Shasta and other Native Peoples who live in their traditional territories of Northern California. APOSS received a mini-grant to organize and host the Green Energy Justice Summit to bring together Indigenous community leaders to outline socially and environmentally just principles and recommendations on the appropriate development and use of “green” energy. Invited speakers and leaders will include Indigenous Peoples who have protected their lands from or have been impacted by so-called “green” energy development, including uranium mining and geothermal drilling. 2. Alternatives North, Northwest Territories: Alternatives North is a social justice coalition operating in the Northwest Territories, Canada. Within their ranks are representatives of churches, organized labor, environmental organizations, women and family advocates and anti-poverty groups. The organisation is entirely volunteer based. Alternatives North is active mostly in Yellowknife, but maintains a larger email distribution list that keeps members up to date on issues and activities. Funding from WMAN and IEN will be used to support participation in the final public hearing of the ongoing Environmental Assessment of the Giant Mine Remediation Plan before the Mackenzie Valley Environmental Impact Review Board. Specifically, they will use this funding to help cover expert participation and travel to present important research on precedent-setting issues and case studies of perpetual water quality treatment at mine sites. 3. Amigos Bravos, New Mexico: Founded in 1988, Amigos Bravos is a statewide organization protecting the ecological and cultural integrity of New Mexico’s rivers and watersheds. They work to link environmental protection with social equity principles and are respected for their innovative approaches to solving river and water issues. Their leadership ensures that impacted communities have the technical knowledge and organizational capacity to defend the waters that sustain their societies and cultures. Amigos Bravos was awarded $3,000 to defray technical expert costs for an administrative appeal of the Standby Permit renewal for the Mt Taylor uranium mine. The appeal process will lay the basis for a likely court case aimed at defending the New Mexico Mining Act and public participation. 4. Barriere Lake Solidarity, Quebec : Formed in 2008, Barriere Lake Solidarity (BLS) Montreal exists to support the Algonquins of Barriere Lake. BLS Montreal is a volunteer collective that facilitates Barriere Lake’s access to a larger public, helping raise public awareness about the community’s resistance to development threats to their land and assaults on their traditional governance. Funds from WMAN-IEN will be used to resist the unwanted presence of Montreal-based mining company Copper One Inc. on Algonquin territory. Part of this effort is the grassroots community engagement of youth via a multi-media project. Other aspects of the project include a public education speaking tour and outreach to Copper One investors to leverage internal pressure at the corporation’s annual meeting. 5. Castle Mountain Coalition (CMC), Alaska: CMC was founded in 2006 in response to the threat of large-scale coal development in the Matanuska Valley. Their mission is to protect the ecological integrity, economic sustainability, and quality of life within the Matanuska River watershed. Funding will be used for planning a series of presentations and workshops on mountaintop removal (MTR) coal mining in Appalachia, the history of resistance to MTR, and the role of non-violent direct action in the movement to abolish MTR. The goal is to learn as much as possible from the communities most impacted by surface mining of coal, and to use that knowledge in the struggle to prevent those impacts from happening to communities in Alaska. 6. Children of the Taku, Alaska: Children of the Taku is an indigenous-led organization founded in May 2012. Their mission is to protect the Taku from harmful effects of industrial development, and specifically to halt the proposed Tulsequah Chief mine access road. They are based in Whitehorse, Yukon. WMAN-IEN funds would largely be used to conduct public and media outreach designed to educate fellow Taku River Tlingit First Nation (TRTFN) members, and the public, about the negative effects of the road, with the goal of encouraging the TRTFN to oppose the road and mine project. The group will also conduct an outreach campaign targeting potential investors, educating them on the growing opposition to the road and the risks and uncertainties of the Tulsequah Chief Project. 7. Clearfork Community Institute (CCI), Tennessee: CCI is an organization led by low-income women of the Tennessee coalfields. Founded in 1997, CCI built its credibility by tapping into the spirit of mountain women and their allies who have sought to provide a meaningful education for their children and communities. In 1997 they obtained two acres that were formerly home to the Blue Diamond Coal camp and turned it into the Clearfork Community Institute. Now the Institute is a functioning place-based community development education center. CCI will use funding to focus on educating young adult interns about the legacy of rural Appalachia’s coalfields’ economy and how to build a healthier future. They will organize a summer young adult leadership program to better understand sense of place through the lens of the area’s historic economy (based on mining) and future opportunities. 8. Coloradoans Against Resource Destruction (CARD), Colorado: CARD was founded in early 2007 to oppose a proposal to mine uranium in northern Colorado. CARD was successful in organizing resistance to the mine, educating citizens resulting in the passage of legislation slowing uranium mining, and eventually suspending local operations of the mine. They continue to work with a number of other organizations, both as a coalition member within Colorado and by providing support for groups fighting other proposed uranium projects in the northern Great Plains region. With funding from WMAN-IEN, CARD will gather six case studies for successful anti-mining efforts in the United States and Canada, and identify the factors that made those efforts successful. These case studies will then be available to WMAN, IEN, and other network members, providing examples and concrete strategies for success. 9. Couchiching First Nation, Ontario: The Couchiching First Nation is a member of the Treaty #3 Anishinaabe people of the Rainy River region in Ontario. Currently there are three mines in the Couchiching territory. The Couchiching will use funds to host a day-long workshop on the environmental impacts of mining. This educational event will provide the community with better information to make informed decisions about mining in the region. The event will bring together governmental policy and technical expertise, and feature environmentalist and tribal elder discussions. 10. Defenders of the Black Hills, South Dakota: Defenders was founded in August, 2002 by Indigenous people and non-indigenous small environmental organizations. Their mission is to protect, preserve, and restore the environment of the 1868 Fort Laramie Treaty Territory which includes all of western South Dakota, and parts of Montana, North Dakota, Wyoming, and Nebraska. Their projects include sacred sites protection, stopping mining impacts, and protection of water. The project proposed for this grant is to fund a quarterly meeting concerned with cleaning up more than 3,000 abandoned uranium mines, and stopping a new gold mine from being built in the sacred Black Hills. This grant will help do a mass mailing, purchase copy materials, and provide for other meeting expenses. 11. Friends of Blair Mountain, West Virginia: The Friends of Blair Mountain (FOBM) was formed in 2010 and is committed to saving Blair Mountain in Logan County, West Virginia from mountaintop removal coal mining. They commemorate and raise awareness of the historic Blair Mountain battlefield, with the ultimate goal of establishing it as a National Monument. [The 1921 Battle of Blair Mountain was the largest civil uprising on American soil since the U.S. Civil War. It was a spontaneous outpouring of rage and grief over conditions in the southern coalfields. Over the course of the disruption, between 10,000 and 15,000 coal miners assembled and armed themselves for a march over mountainous terrain to rescue illegally imprisoned miners in Mingo County.] Blair Mountain was nominated for the National Register of Historic Places in the late 1990’s and for a time was granted that designation. Efforts by the coal companies resulted in it being removed from the National Register. This battle is now being fought in the courts in a very long drawn out fashion. In the meantime, surface mining has continued. Friends of Blair Mountain is requested funds from WMAN/IEN for the design, printing and postage costs for the first Blair Mountain Journal, which will be published twice each year. The project also includes a membership drive to increase fundraising efforts and outreach to libraries all over West Virginia and Appalachia to become subscribers to the Journal. 12. Great Lakes Caucus, Michigan: The WMAN Great Lakes Caucus is a collaboration among mining activist organizations in the Great Lakes basin (on both sides of the international border). The Great Lakes Caucus is proposing to convene a mining activists’ meeting in Marquette, Michigan to contribute to the development of a common understanding of mining activities and impacts around the Great Lakes. The objectives of the Great Lakes Caucus meeting are to provide an opportunity for mining activists to unite and (1) share information resources, (2) build capacity/skills, and (3) identify effective communication tools and strategies for ongoing collaboration. 13. International Indian Treaty Alliance, Alaska: The International Indian Treaty Council (IITC) is an organization of Indigenous Peoples working for human rights, environmental justice and self-determination for Indigenous Peoples and the recognition and protection of their rights, treaties, traditional cultures, and sacred lands. This project will build on the partnership between the IITC, Chickaloon Village Tribal Citizens and Youth, Chickaloon Village Traditional Council, community members, and environmental groups in the local area defending against coal issues. This project goal is to host a media training to educate and share the impacts of coal mining in the local area through the production and distribution of a community led Public Service Announcement (PSA) Campaign. The training is scheduled for August 2012. 14. Native Movement, Arizona: Native Movement is a national non-profit organization that supports culturally based leadership development and sustainability programs in the Southwest region of the United States and Alaska. The overarching mission “is to help motivate young leaders toward balanced relations with each other, and Mother Earth”. Native Movement sought funding for The Elders Video Recording Project. WMAN-IEN funds will be used to interview and record elders speaking about the legacy of uranium mining on indigenous lands in the US Southwest. The group seeks to use technology as a tool to responsibly rebuild cultural resiliency to ensure a sustainable and healthy global bio-cultural diversity. The project includes: producing a website, a DVD series, and building a rapport between age groups. 15. Southeast Alaska Conservation Council (SEACC), Alaska: Since 1970, SEACC has worked throughout Southeast Alaska to permanently protect biologically productive watersheds and wild areas important to communities, while fostering the development of sustainable communities. This project aims to support intern staffing assistance for Alaskans for Responsible Mining, a coalition of communities, native organizations and conservation groups that has been working in Alaska for over 15 years to organize and educate the public on mining issues across Alaska. SEACC is providing office space and resources for a 6-month intern but sought WMAN-IEN funding to assist with costs. 16. Sept-Iles Sans Uranium (SISUR), Quebec: SISUR is a citizen-based group formed in 2008 to fight companies who sought to open uranium mines in the St-Laurent north shore and Sept-Îles areas of Québec. The group quickly grew to more than 5,000 and the need for technical knowledge about uranium mining became evident. Their mission is to raise awareness of the effects of mining through outreach to the public and distribution of sound scientific data from around the world. Funding from WMAN-IEN will be used for outreach and education with Cree Nation members on the effects of uranium mining. Training will culminate in a presentation to the Canadian Nuclear Safety Commission. 17. Tsilhqot’in First Nation, British Columbia: The Tsilhqot'in National Government (TNG) was established in 1989 to meet the needs and represent six Tsilhqot'in First Nations communities in their effort to re-establish a strong political government structure. The TNG is fighting the proposed “Prosperity Mine”. TNG seeks to protect Teztan Biny and its surrounding environment (Yanah Biny & Nabas) from proposed mining. Funding will be used to plan a gathering from August 23-26, 2012 to discuss issues associated with the mine and develop community responses. 18. Tyonek Native Village, Alaska: The peoples of Tyonek have thrived off the marine environment, rivers, and lands while residing along the beaches of the Cook Inlet for thousands of years. The Tyonek native peoples, referred to as the Tubughna “Beach People”, are located 35 air miles from Anchorage across the Cook Inlet in the village of Tyonek. The village relies on a subsistence lifestyle that is centuries old, and wild, healthy salmon are a vital component of Tyonek’s traditional way of life. Tyonek Native Village received WMAN-IEN funding in 2011 to build a triballydriven campaign to stop the Chuitna Coal Mine and protect the Chuitna River in the Cook Inlet watershed. The project has now received a 2012 grant for the second annual Big Lake Culture Camp with the focus on bringing together native youth from throughout the Cook Inlet to celebrate salmon and learn about potential negative impacts from coal development on water quality, climate change, salmon health and habitat, and on human health. 19. Wisconsin Network for Peace and Justice (WNPJ), Wisconsin: WNPJ was formed in 1991 with a mission to facilitate activities, cooperation and communication among Wisconsin organizations and individuals working toward the creation of a sustainable world, free from violence and injustice. WNPJ seeks to build coalitions, engage the public, and wage campaigns through their Anti-militarism, Immigrant Rights and Environment Work Groups. With funding, WNPJ will continue opposition to a proposed iron mine in northern Wisconsin, to educate people about the dangers of iron, metallic sulfide and fracsand mining in Wisconsin. They will achieve this through a campaign to educate the public about the range and extent of mining activities and proposals in Wisconsin; to develop and promote an informed critique of iron, metallic sulfide and frac sand mining, via educational materials, presentations and media outreach; and to build broad-based grassroots pressure to strengthen mining protections and pass legislation addressing the public health and environmental impacts of frac sand mining. 20. Yellow Bird, Montana: Yellow Bird is an indigenous, grass roots organization, founded in 2006, on the Northern Cheyenne Reservation of Montana. Their mission is to provide programming to preserve traditional life-ways and language, to protect mother earth , and to create cultural understanding and integrity. Yellow Bird is dedicated to providing native cultural programming that empowers youth, families and communities to overcome adversities and strive for a better future. Yellow Bird will utilize funding to sponsor a large public gathering on the Northern Cheyenne Reservation that will inform the community and Northern Cheyenne people about coal and coal development experienced by other tribes. The gathering will be held on August 12th, 2012, before a September 2012 tribal vote on coal development. Grant funds will involve travel costs for speakers/presenters (travel, lodging, etc.), marketing/advertising, supplies, and other meeting expenses. 21. Protect Our Manoomin, Minnesota: Protect Our Manoomin (POM) is an indigenous, non-profit, grassroots organization composed of individuals from Minnesota Anishinaabe communities. Founded in 2011, their mission is to educate and inform tribal and non-tribal people of sulfide mining and its endangerment to wild rice and the environment. POM will utilize funding to host a tribal mining forum, including speakers on cultural issues, legal issues (ceded lands), scientific issues (effects of sulfates on Manoomin), and economic issues in regard to sulfide mining.