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Western Shoshone Environmental & Land Rights Activist Carrie Dann Dies at 88

HeadlineJan 05, 2021

In Nevada, Indigenous leader, land rights activist and water protector Carrie Dann has died at the age of 88. Beginning in the 1970s, Carrie Dann and her sister Mary refused to pay grazing fees to the federal government over its repeated violations of the 1863 Treaty of Ruby Valley, which defined Western Shoshone territory. In the 1990s, armed federal marshals rounded up the Dann sisters’ horses and cattle in a series of sometimes violent raids, setting up a legal fight that went all the way to the U.S. Supreme Court and the United Nations.

The Dann sisters also fought to restore Western Shoshone land poisoned by atomic bomb tests and cyanide used in gold mining operations. Carrie Dann spoke to Democracy Now! in 2008 about the fight against Barrick Gold and other mining companies.

Carrie Dann: “They pump water from these gold mines in order to get to that microscopic gold, which is under the water table. They pump anywhere from 20,000 gallons to 70,000 gallons per minute, 365 days out of the year. … They are pumping life, in my opinion, the life of the future generations, not only of the human life, but all life.”

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