Indigenous people of the US and lithium and fossil fuel mining
US authorities have approved ConocoPhillips Company’s Alaska oil and gas drilling project. The investment includes three new drilling areas in a remote wilderness region in western Alaska. It is estimated that approximately 600 million barrels of oil can be produced there within 30 years. Trustees for Alaska have already filed a lawsuit in court on behalf of a coalition of indigenous people and groups fighting to protect the environment.
Despite the actions of local indigenous people from the Shoshone-descended Paiute tribe and farmers and activists, Lithium Americas has returned to work on the Thacker Pass lithium mine in northern Nevada after a favourable federal court decision. The Thacker Pass is home to the largest known lithium deposit in the US, which according to President Joe Biden’s administration, is crucial to securing the domestic mineral to produce batteries for electric vehicles. Opponents of the investment argue that the mine could destroy local fragile ecosystems and desecrate a site where at least 31 Paiutes died at the hands of American soldiers in 1865.
Nearly three dozen bison living in a park near Denver, Colorado, have gone to several indigenous tribes on the American Great Plains. The animals were given to, among others, the Yuchi people, whose herd will be expanded over time. In this way, the spiritual and physical bond broken 200 years ago when the bison were almost exterminated, and the Yuchi were driven away from their land will be restored. Currently, 82 tribes in the USA raise more than 20,000 bison.