‘We were not consulted’: Native Americans fight lithium mine on site of 1865 massacre – by Michael Sainato (The Guardian – October 13, 2023)


Indigenous groups say huge project in northern Nevada threatens environmental, cultural and historical destruction

The rugged and beautiful Thacker Pass in the desert mountains of northern Nevada has long been a sacred site for Native American tribes in the region.

It has witnessed bloody and terrible history. On 12 September 1865, US federal soldiers in the 1st Nevada cavalry committed a massacre of Native Americans, the Numu, across Thacker Pass, named Peehee Mu’huh – Rotten Moon, in the Numu language. Thirty to 50 Native Americans are believed to have been killed, including women and children.

The pass is also the site of the largest known lithium deposit in the US and one of the largest in the world, and Native people and their supporters say another tragedy is now unfolding there. A mining project on the site by Lithium Americas, fast-tracked at the end of the Trump Administration, started construction earlier this year. For its proponents, the mine is an essential component for the US’s shift to a greener future. For its critics, the mine threatens irrevocable environmental and historical destruction to the area.

“All the people here on the reservation were not consulted when this mine was approved,” said Dorece Sam, a direct descendant of Ox Sam, one of three survivors of the Thacker Pass massacre.

For the rest of this article: https://www.theguardian.com/us-news/2023/oct/13/native-americans-1865-massacre-lithium-mine-thacker-pass