at its annual shareholders meeting, the Barrick Gold Corporation will
have to answer some tough questions from the Western Shoshone Defense
Project (WSDP), a grassroots Native American group based in Nevada and
supported by Oxfam America, an international relief and development
organization. Dedicated to protecting the land rights and preserving
the homelands of the Western Shoshone people, the WSDP is concerned
about Barrick's plans to mine on Mount Tenabo and Horse Canyon,
important spiritual areas in Northern Nevada and home to Shoshone
"As the world's largest gold mining company, Barrick should be an
industry leader and respect the rights of communities to give their
free, prior, and informed consent to all mining projects proposed on
their lands," said Keith Slack, senior policy advisor for Oxfam
America. "Respecting the right of consent is critical for protecting
indigenous peoples' sacred sites."
"The United Nations has recognized that the U.S. government and the
mining companies are violating Western Shoshone land rights," said
Larson Bill, community organizer for the Western Shoshone Defense
Project. "We have repeatedly tried to engage with Barrick regarding
their plans to mine on Mount Tenabo, but all they have done is bring in
more drilling rigs and put up fences."
"We are bringing a petition signed by over 18,500 people telling
Barrick to stop all activity on Mount Tenabo and Horse Canyon. These
are people all over the country who understand that this is Western
Shoshone land and the mining companies have no right to destroy it,"
Slack continued, "Today's meeting is an opportunity for the WSDP to
take their concerns directly to Barrick and its shareholders."
Oxfam America works to ensure the oil, gas, and mining industries
respect the rights of community members impacted by extractive
industries projects, and that projects contribute to the long-term
reduction of poverty.