START A PETITION 25,136,189 members: the world's largest community for good
START A PETITION
x
2,567,597 people care about Environment & Wildlife

A Mother’s Day Call to Protect the Earth

A Mother’s Day Call to Protect the Earth

Editor’s Note: This post comes to us from our friends over at Earth Island Journal. It offers a different perspective on Mother’s Day from Women’s Earth Alliance, and asks you to think of celebrating Mother Earth this holiday. For a full version of the guest post, head to Earth Island Journal. Enjoy!

By Caitlin Sislin, Esq., Advocacy Director, Women’s Earth Alliance

Today is the day of the mother, the day we honor the source of life. As we give thanks for all the nurturing and resources our mothers provide for us, we also celebrate our shared mother – the Earth. Without her flowing waters, warm sun, rich soil and fresh air, even our most advanced technologies wouldn’t be able to sustain our collective life here.
 
We write to you from the front lines of a critical struggle for justice and sustainability – unbeknownst to many of us – that is unfolding right here in North America. For the past week, the intrepid Women’s Earth Alliance (WEA) Advocacy Delegation has been meeting with three Native American communities whose sacred places are gravely threatened by mining and commercial development.
 
Our team of eight dynamic women – legal, policy, and business experts -convened in Elko, Nevada, to begin our journey. There, we learned from Western Shoshone elder and longtime land rights activist Carrie Dann about the ravaging of sacred Mt. Tenabo by Barrick Gold Mine. For the Western Shoshone and many other tribes in the region, all life emerged from Mt. Tenabo; now, this sage and pinon-covered range is the site of the largest open pit cyanide heap leach gold mine in the United States. The Shoshone say that because of the 1.8 billion gallons of water per year that will be drawn from within the mountain, along with the 2,200 ft. deep mine pit and the toxic cyanide tailings ponds, the mountain itself will die if protective action is not taken.
 
We then traveled to Flagstaff, Arizona, where Jeneda Benally and the Save the Peaks Coalition shared with us the epic legal and grassroots campaign underway to protect the San Francisco Peaks. These holy Peaks hold the utmost spiritual significance to 13 tribes, and are at risk of total desecration through the use of reclaimed wastewater to make artificial snow at a ski resort. For the Navajo, putting 180 million gallons of wastewater annually on the mountain would irreversibly contaminate the mountain’s holy purity.
 
Finally, we traveled to the magnificent Grand Canyon, where Havasupai leader Carletta Tilousi explained the grave threat of uranium mining to the tribe’s sacred Red Butte mountain, to the community’s health, and to the safety of the regional aquifer. Since 2005, because of a major spike in the price of uranium on the world market, over 10,000 new uranium claims have been filed on the land surrounding the Grand Canyon, the traditional homeland of the Havasupai. Uranium mining – including one mine just a few miles from the Havasupai’s holiest mountain shrine and from the rim of the Canyon, situated directly over the aquifer that provides water to the tribe’s village and many other communities – would expose the air, water, land, and community to toxic and carcinogenic contamination through the extraction of hundreds of thousands of pounds of uranium ore.
 
The unfortunate fact is that our land-use and environmental policies, while allowing for the constitutional protection of some religious freedoms, do not yet protect sacred land for its own sake or for the people who revere it. We have seen that when economic development clashes in court or in the legislature with the protection of Native American holy places, development usually wins – no matter the devastation of natural resources and human community that may result.
 
On this Mother’s Day, why should we care about these injuries to communities we may never know? This week, our team has learned that we all owe our lives to the delicate balance of the planet, and disruption of that balance in one place will impact all of us everywhere.

Lila Watson, Australian aboriginal leader, said: “If you have come here to help me, you are wasting your time. But if you have come here because your liberation is bound up with mine, then let us work together.”

Our liberation is bound up with the health of the Earth and all her people. WEA’s Sacred Earth Advocacy Network is proud to stand in solidarity with the indigenous female environmental leaders of sacred sites protection campaigns in North America, through pro bono legal, policy, and business advocacy collaborations. On this day of honoring our mothers, we invite you to join us in protecting our shared, sacred Mother Earth by learning more about these urgent issues, spreading the word in your community about the impacts of consumption on people and land, and supporting our work toward sustainability and justice. Most of all, take a moment today and every day to stand on the earth, give thanks for all that she provides, and make a commitment to protect her, for the sake of future generations and all life.

***

Women’s Earth Alliance (WEA) is a global organization that implements solutions to issues of climate, water, food, and land by connecting grassroots women environmental leaders to urgently-needed resources, training and advocacy.

Care2′s Mother’s Day Action:

Send Mother’s Day wishes to a Mom in need. They’ll appreciate it more than you could ever imagine.

Read more: , , , , , , , , , ,

photo credit: thanks to jurvetson for the amazing image

have you shared this story yet?

some of the best people we know are doing it

77 comments

+ add your own
6:02PM PDT on May 11, 2013

noted

6:02AM PDT on May 11, 2013

Thank you for sharing.

4:19PM PDT on Sep 13, 2012

Thank you for article.

4:19PM PDT on Sep 13, 2012

Thank you for article.

4:18PM PDT on Sep 13, 2012

Thank you for article.

1:13PM PDT on May 17, 2010

To all who consider me a friend or are concerned about world crises:

The American Nazi Party just invited my husband to join. We are Jewish, and if we got an invite, so did everyone else in America. This is absolutely terifying. Please, write to important politcal leaders in your area and explain the dangers of Nazis rising again. Thank you.

12:16AM PDT on May 17, 2010

Speaking of which, who on this forum is taking any of this to the public, and what are you doing?

11:56AM PDT on May 16, 2010

And in the meantime, we will have to find a way to help them.

11:43PM PDT on May 15, 2010

First America steals their land and killes their people.
Than they wreak havoc on their sacred land and now they found a way to kill them off altogether.
Do not for one moment believe these Indians can exist with cyanide poisoning in their water.
These mine bosses and their cronies in congress, will be punished by God.

9:47AM PDT on May 15, 2010

What a beautiful idea, Kathy. I believe that one kind act, especially one that creates a ripple effect, done by each person, can make such a huge difference in very little time.

add your comment



Disclaimer: The views expressed above are solely those of the author and may not reflect those of
Care2, Inc., its employees or advertisers.

ads keep care2 free
Story idea? Want to blog? Contact the editors!
ads keep care2 free

more from causes

Animal Welfare

Causes Canada

Causes UK

Children

Civil Rights

Education

Endangered Wildlife

Environment & Wildlife

Global Development

Global Warming

Health Policy

Human Rights

LGBT rights

Politics

Real Food

Trailblazers For Good

Women's Rights




Select names from your address book   |   Help
   

We hate spam. We do not sell or share the email addresses you provide.