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Native American Group wants Barrick Gold Corporation off its Sacred Lands


Today 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 creation stories.

"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," said Bill.

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.


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