A consistent stance of American Indians and Alaskan Native tribes has been opposition to mining development and dam construction in our traditional territories. Our way of life is tied to the land. So in much the same way that farmers ought to oppose mining that would contaminate their water supply, we oppose the same that would contaminate our food sources. An excellent example of this issue was the threat of the Yakutat Forelands in Tlingit Country:
See also this youtube video made by Aandeyein; The Yakutat Forelands Are Not For Sale
Our critics may describe us as anti-development, but this is a gross misunderstanding. Instead, we are simply protecting our traditional territories from outsiders wishing to exploit our resources. Any American would be up in arms if a foreign entity wished to destroy his hometowns economic base for the benefit of outsiders.
Below is another example.
Bad River Opposes Penokee Mine, Chairman Says
By Claudia Broman
The Bad River Band of Lake Superior Chippewa Indians officially issued a position statement Wednesday in opposition to the proposed Gogebic Taconite, LLC mine that would, if approved, be located in the Gogebic-Penokee Range of Ashland and Iron counties.
Members of the tribal council of the Bad River Band met with Gov. Scott Walker Wednesday to discuss the band's opposition to the proposed mine.
“As promised, Governor Walker met with tribal leaders, listened to their thoughts on changing Wisconsin's mining related laws, and had a discussion with them about the process moving forward,” said Cullen Werwie, Walker's press secretary, in an email to the Ashland Current.
Mike Wiggins Jr., chairman of the Bad River Tribal Council, explained the tribe's opposition to the proposal in a news release.
“The Band opposes development of the proposed GTAC taconite iron mine in the Penokee Hills of Ashland and Iron Counties in Wisconsin, because it is clear, based on available geologic and environmental information, that such an open pit mine cannot be developed and operated using current mining technologies and practices without destroying the environmental quality, including the waters, wetlands, streams, rivers, air, lands and forests of the Bad River watershed, the Bad River Indian Reservation, and Lake Superior,” Wiggins said. “The Bad River watershed is a Wisconsin gem and pristine environmental resource, and the Band’s cultural identity and way of life is highly dependent upon maintaining the health and integrity of the watershed.”