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Our Land, Our Life

Western Shoshone ancestral land is under threat.

©2009 Western Shoshone Defense Project
(copyright permission pending)

Harmful Business Practices Threaten Western Shoshone Ancestral Land Rights and Cultural Heritage

"I was indigenous and in one single evening they made me indigent. If you think the Indian wars are over, then think again."
- Carrie Dann, Western Shoshone activist, October 31, 2002

The health, lands, and culture of the Western Shoshone Nation are under continuing threat. The destructive practices of the gold mining industry, decades of nuclear testing and nuclear waste disposal, and the leasing of ancestral Western Shoshone lands for geothermal energy production have devastated the Western Shoshone people who struggle to preserve their culture and their land for future generations.


The U.S. government has authorized use of Western Shoshone land by a number of industries, including gold mining companies, energy developers, and companies involved in nuclear weapons testing and waste disposal. Western Shoshone land is the third richest gold producing area in the world. Mining activities in the area pollute water and increase air mercury content.

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In its struggle to protect its ancestral land, the Western Shoshone Nation has opposed legislation to privatize its land and has won legal victories in U.S. federal court and before international forums. Find resources to help you support the Western Shoshone people and demand justice.

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Meet the human rights defenders fighting the battle for Western Shoshone survival. Learn how the Western Shoshone have defended their land and culture against devastating business activities. Also learn about Western Shoshone culture and spirituality.

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©2009 Western Shoshone Defense Project (copyright permission pending)