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Monday, April 03, 2006

Collville Nation rejects mining

From Indian Country Today
Colville reject mining
Posted: April 03, 2006
by: Jack McNeel / Indian Country Today
NESPELEM, Wash. - Voters on the Colville reservation decisively rejected the mining referendum when the votes were officially tallied on March 23.

Votes against numbered 1,254, compared to 847 ''yes'' votes for nearly a 60 percent to 40 percent ratio in opposition to mining. Voters essentially turned down the possibility of huge financial gains in favor of protecting the environment and cultural values. Many considered the financial income as a chancy situation dependent on several factors, most notably the long-term value of molybdenum. Molybdenum is the primary ore at the Mount Tolman site that was being considered in the mining proposal.

Billie Jo Bray, a San Poil, was one of the leaders in getting the word out in opposition to mining. The organization she represents, Visions for Our Future, is a non-profit grass-roots organization concerned about preventing destruction to natural resources and saving sacred sites on the reservation.

''I'm very happy. I'm jumping with glee inside,'' Bray said. ''I want to do a celebration dinner right now to bring people together and enjoy the company - to pray and say 'thank you.' I'm really excited.'' complete article

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