Imagine a gathering of 125 mining activists from all over the western USA and Canada, environmentalists, biologists, geologists, community organisers, First Nations and Native American people, researchers and academics. The combination of creativity and determination would be phenomenal. Well, every two years, the Western Mining Activist Network (WMAN) brings together just such a diversity of people. This year, twenty-two Canadians, many of them First Nations, joined our colleagues from the US in Albuquerque, New Mexico, at the beginning of November. Prior to the conference, some participants toured the decommissioned Jackpile uranium mine in Paguate, Laguna Pueblo, just 60 miles west of Albuquerque. (It's literally in Paguate, right in the middle of the village, and was once the world's largest uranium mine. Laguna Pueblo is still feeling the effects through illness and death) The focus of the conference is on sharing information and strategies, as well as networking and just having fun. Workshop topics included working with the media, tracking and targeting mining investment and corporate structures, Native/non-Native solidarity, and dealing with community divisions. It was a rewarding experience for all involved. If you are interested in WMAN, contact MiningWatch Canada for further information.
24 November 2001, 12.36pm EST