Legal setbacks in efforts to block a new lithium mine in Nevada’s Thacker Pass highlight how federal courts routinely fail to protect sacred lands

Growing up on the Duck Valley Reservation, Gary McKinney said he remembers hearing the stories of his ancestors’ brutal murders at Thacker Pass in northern Nevada.

Tribal oral history depicts US soldiers killing dozens of Indigenous people in the late 1800s, including women and children, and leaving behind a burial ground with deep spiritual significance. The generations that followed have honored the expansive site with ceremonies while continuing to hunt and forage for traditional foods and medicines.

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