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Showing posts from November, 2015

Eve of Destruction: BLM Approves Mine in 10,000-year-old Sacred Site

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This article appeared on the Rural America In These Times website in September 2015 and was updated in November. This isn’t the “new” world for the Western Shoshone. And their West was never “wild.” It is a place of deep cultural connections to a homeland that at one time extended across portions of Idaho, Nevada, Utah and California. For more than 10,000 years, they have met in what is today called the Tosawihi Quarries, a stretch of Elko County, Nevada, to gather a type of white flint and to practice their ceremonies. “That stone is very sacred to us,” says Joe Holley, tribal council member of the Battle Mountain Band of the Te-Moak Western Shoshone, one of several federally recognized tribes with links to the quarries. “We use it every day and have done so for millennia, for tools, ceremonies and healing. The stone, the water, the entire place is sacred.”  The word Tosawihi means White Knives, an ancestral Shoshone tribal name that ties the land and its features to their culture and i…