On April 17, Chairman Lopez of the Amah Mutsun Tribal Band spoke at the 17th session of the United Nations Permanent Forum on Indigenous Issues, calling for the protection of Juristac.
“Today the Amah Mutsun calls on Santa Clara County to deny the mining permit for Juristac,” Lopez stated during his 3 minute speech at the United Nations headquarters in New York. “We will not allow our ancestors to be forgotten, ignored or erased from history.”
Chairman Lopez also called upon all governments to “dismantle the systems of oppression and domination” of indigenous peoples. He also asked that the United Nations “recognize that the extractive industries are the number one threat to climate change…and that there must be a globally binding instrument to hold them accountable.”
In addition to his speech on the floor of the United Nations, the Amah Mutsun Tribal Band in partnership with AIM-West hosted a side meeting with about 50 other representatives of national and international indigenous nations. At this brief conference, the sand and gravel mining proposal for Juristac was discussed, alongside other critical issues including the struggle of the Tohono O’odham nation against the proposed border wall, the campaign to Free Leonard Peltier, and current indigenous organizing in Minnesota to stop Enbridge’s proposed Line 3 pipeline.
Below is a video of Chairman Lopez’s full speech: