In the remote mountains of what is today called “Nevada”, a struggle is taking place. The struggle is not unique. It’s only one of countless struggles between Indigenous people and settlers that have been occurring on the American continents and across the world for over 500 years.
A mountain, Peehee Mu’huh, sacred to the Paiute, Shoshone, and other Indigenous nations in the area, is at the center of Lithium Nevada’s push for a new mining project. This project is part of the broader ongoing shift away from fossil fuels and towards alternative energy technologies, like lithium-based battery storage.
In their upcoming documentary film, Protecting Peehee Mu’huh: Green Capitalism, Colonialism, and Resistance, filmmakers James Foguth and Lauren Glaze traveled to the Mountain West investigating the conflict among the various groups connected to the land and the proposed mining project.
Join Moon in conversation with the filmmakers by listening to the full interview below or reading the transcript after the break. The filmmakers provide historical context for the area and its peoples; share details of the project and the local response; offer actions you can take to support local efforts to protect this land; and, make suggestions for mindful visitation of the land.
Listen to the Interview:
Moon is a proud sponsor of Nizhoni Films and Protecting Peehee Mu’huh: Green Capitalism, Colonialism, and Resistance. If you would like to join Moon in supporting this project, click the link below to donate directly.
Read the Transcript:
Hello and welcome to Moon. My name is Seb Cancino. We appreciate you stopping by to listen to our conversation with filmmakers James Foguth and Lauren Glaze, co-directors of the upcoming documentary film, Peehee Mu’huh: Green Capitalism, Colonialism, and Resistance.
The film follows the story of Peehee Mu’huh, a mountain sacred to the Paiute and Shoshone, and other Indigenous nations in what is today called “Nevada”. This mountain–steeped in history and tragedy–is at the center of a conflict hundreds of years in the making, and the repercussions of its fate will ripple far into the future.
Join me in conversation with the filmmakers as they provide historical context for the area and its peoples; share details of the proposed mining projects in the area; offer actions you can take to support efforts to protect Peehee Mu’huh; and, make suggestions for mindful visitation of the land.
We hope you enjoy.
Thank you both for joining me today. I’m excited and honored to have you with us, and to learn more about your upcoming documentary film project, Peehee Mu’huh: Green Capitalism, Colonialism and Resistance. Can you please both just start off by sharing your name, your pronouns, your location and your role on the project?
First of all, thank you so much for interviewing us and for amplifying this message. It’s really great to be interviewed and to just have this opportunity to speak on this. So my name is Lauren glaze, my pronouns are she/her. I’m currently located in Sperryville, Virginia. And my role on the project is co-director and science communicator.
Yes, thank you for having us. My name is James Foguth. I am a Navajo filmmaker, my pronouns are he and him. And I’m coming to you from the Napa Kea, which is the Navajo Nation.
Awesome. And James, can you tell us your role on this project as well?
Oh, yes. I am the co-director. Lauren Glaze and I are co-directing the documentary Protecting Peehee Mu’huh.
Excellent, thank you. Again, just feeling really excited to have you both with us and to share this important work that you’re doing. And, it just feels really timely for just the day that we find ourselves on, existing in this timeline of history, which is becoming one of my, I guess, catchphrases for this podcast.
The title of your upcoming documentary is Peehee Mu’huh: Green Capitalism, Colonialism, and Resistance. The film tells the ongoing and unfinished story of Peehee Mu’huh, a site sacred to the Paiute and Shoshone people in what is today called “Nevada”. A company, Lithium Nevada or Lithium Americas, is working to begin extracting lithium from this area, also known as Thacker Pass. Can you tell me a bit about why the site is important to local tribal nations, why Lithium Nevada is interested in the site and why the two groups and others are standing in opposition to each other.
I can start. So, Peehee Mu’huh is sacred to many tribes, but notably, the Paiute and Shoshone nations. And it is a sacred area for them. They’ve used it and managed it for thousands of years. And it’s sacred for many reasons.
First of all, Indigenous peoples in general have a very special relationship to the land. That’s how they connect to their culture, their spirituality. And it’s something that, you know, they’re very connected to. And, not only is this a sacred land that’s shared and used by several other tribes in the region, but also a massacre happened there at the Thacker Pass site. And that’s another big aspect of why it’s sacred to them and the surrounding nations.
Thank you, that’s really powerful. So it’s, it’s not only controversial today, it’s been it’s been a site that has seen tragedy before. And not even to mention, just like you said, how connected the different groups of people who have lived there for millennia, are to this land as part of their, you know, as part of their culture, as part of their identity. So can you tell me a little bit about why, maybe Lauren, why Lithium Nevada is interested in this particular site?
Yes, so with the green energy transition, lithium is one of those metals that is at the forefront. The demand is expected to increase, you know, there’s a lot of different statistics out there, but it’s supposed to increase a lot, we’ll just say. And so since a huge deposit of lithium, which is also now known as the “white gold”, or like, “the new gold rush”, you know, has been discovered there, there are a lot of people that really want to get a piece of that, that want to be able to profit off of the metals that are available there. And I’ll just say, a brief moment about, it’s kind of a continuation of this extractive mentality. You know, there’s no, there’s no mindfulness that is involved in this extraction process. You know, it’s “let’s get as much as we can out of it as possible. It’s just desert, there’s nothing there.” And that’s their mentality towards the land. So yeah, they’re just trying to gain as much money as they can, and sell as many products as they can.
For sure. So, I mean, it sounds like at face value, there may not be a lot of clarity around like, why this these two groups are standing in opposition to each other. So why do you think like on the ground, like, what is what are folks saying, for people who oppose the project who are not part of this organization? who’re not part of the company, Lithium Nevada, or Lithium Americas? What are some of their arguments and then why does Lithium Nevada think that they are, I guess entitled to work in this space where they’re really you know, regardless of the legislation regulatory red tape they have to go through, I guess, like, what are the motivations on each side? Besides the money and the connection to the land? Obviously, those things are big, big things, big concepts, but what is it? How is it affecting people’s lives? What are they seeing?
Yeah, basically, the process uses 2 billion gallons of water per year. Billion with a ‘B’, and it releases carcinogenic compounds into the groundwater. So that’s precious groundwater resources that people are depending on to live, and that includes wildlife.
So, the wildlife, you know, the water table gets lowered, the wildlife lose their source of water, and also the people, that puts their health at risk, their children’s health at risk, for millennia to come. It’s not going to go back to the way it was. The water is not going to all of a sudden be healthy and clean and okay to drink again. So that means that you have to start importing water, importing food from other places. It also completely destroys the ecosystem that’s there. So that’s required to regulate the climate, so that impacts the globe. And it also, the extraction process relies on diesel, so it uses greenhouse gases. So that’s something that’s important for people to understand. They think that this is, you know, a way to reduce dependence on greenhouse gases, when in fact, it still requires greenhouse gases in order to occur, to operate.
What’s interesting is that you, you mentioned sort of the, this unique moment in history. And something that this documentary that we’re producing, it’s where we look at this perspective, or really, its framed from a historical perspective and as told by Indigenous people. So to sort of answer your question, the sort of like “what’s at stake and why are they opposing it?”: because there is essentially, historically, throughout the history of the United States, ever since white settlers and Euro Americans started settling this area and colonizing it, there’s been this cycle of colonialism and extractivism. And in order to do those things, they have to separate the Indigenous people from their land. And as I mentioned before, Indigenous peoples had a very intimate, very spiritual connection to the land. And in order for. whenever a desirable resource came up, whether that was gold, the land itself, coal, silver, or now it’s lithium, there has been a cycle of separating Indigenous peoples from their land, and ignoring their rights.
And so like I said, keep saying like, whether it was the gold rush, right now, it’s the lithium rush. And we see the same thing happening again, from historical perspective, because Indigenous peoples’ rights are being violated and ignored while this lithium mine is being proposed. And every step along the way, you know, there’s been steps taken to ignore the Indigenous peoples’ concerns, and their rights to approve it or to consult with it has also gone ignored as well.
And so that’s why I think we also wanted to focus on the Indigenous perspective for this documentary. Because this is, there’s a general sort of idea among the mainstream Western American idea that racism ended with the civil rights movement, that Martin Luther King ended racism. And that there’s also sort of this idea that Indigenous people have their rights respected, and that America values their rights, when really that’s a lie historically and currently. That’s still sort of the lie that we’re being told. And so that’s why I think, in addition to the science that’s behind it, that Lauren is really good about pointing out and quoting the fact that this lithium mine is extractivism. It’s the same cycle that you’ve heard of, hopefully, in history books, but if not, this is the relationship that America has had with its Indigenous peoples. And it’s been fraught with violating their rights and ignoring them, and separating from their land and as a result, separating them from their culture.
And so that’s why these groups are in addition to what Lauren said, that’s why they’re also opposing the mine because they’re using the same tactics. And that cycle is repeating itself now. And this documentary is sort of for everyone to sort of kind of shake him and wake him up saying, “Hey, this isn’t something that ended. This is something that’s still current.” And sure, some of the tactics may have changed, but this is happening right now. This is what colonialism looks like right now. And this is the Indigenous perspective that we’ve had over the hundreds of years dealing with Euro-Americans and colonization.
Thank you. I really appreciate that focus on the idea of colonialism. I think for a lot of folks, especially in the United States, what we’re educated around colonialism is Thanksgiving and 13 colonies and cotton and tea, and it kind of stops there. And, so I really appreciate kind of that reality check. Because even as I was saying before, like “we’re in a unique moment in time”, and I have to say, we aren’t based on what you just said. I think that’s what we all need to hear right now is that we aren’t necessarily in a unique moment of time, because these cycles of oppression, they just continue. They continue, and we’re seeing, like you said, new tactics, but the same old story.
And so, I think that segues really smoothly into my next question, which was about the subtitle of your documentary. It, right off the bat, just introduces some really big concepts like green capitalism, colonialism, like you just mentioned, and resistance. And I can also say, for a lot of folks, like really taking those topics head on, and challenging them and challenging the systems that hold them up, tends to be really abstract or inconvenient for a lot of folks in the what would be called the “dominant culture” in the US. So, how does how do you feel like the documentary frames these concepts? I have not seen the film myself, but I’d love to hear just like how you went about tackling such large, broad concepts that really affect our everyday lives here in the United States? And then how did you arrive at a project that was so pointedly addressing these topics?
I can start with this, sort of the framing of it. And no one has seen the finished version of it, because we’re still working on it. We’re in post-production right now, in the throes of editing, and we hope to have it done soon.
So, the framing is this historical perspective. The framing of these issues is really kind of pointing out what I spoke about earlier about how they’re these destructive cycles, and it hasn’t ended. That relationship between Indigenous Americans and white Euro-Americans and their institutions, and the government hasn’t changed. And so, in that sense, when we interview a lot of the Indigenous peoples who are standing up to this mine and fighting it legally and in various other ways.
For example, the chairman of the tribe, the Reno Sparks Indian colony, he’s been the chairman of that tribe for over 30 years. And he’s had a long personal history with people and companies and other mines just trying to take advantage and to exploit the various land, and separating people from their culture and their land, essentially. And so, it really takes that historical perspective of like, this is the cycle and this is what it looks like right now, as told by the Indigenous people who this affects from this area, from Peehee Mu’huh who hold this land sacred.
And, and how did we come about it? I think Lauren can speak to that more directly. And I’ll just say, for myself, I, myself didn’t know anything about this proposed lithium mine and what was happening at Thacker Pass until Lauren brought it to my attention. Go ahead.
Yeah, so I think something that I just kind of wanted to touch on for this topic is I think that there’s a lot of really well-meaning environmentalist type people out there, and I could probably consider myself under that umbrella, as well. Just wanting to do the best that we can, while facing this global crisis of climate change. So, I’ve heard, I’ve heard a lot of things that: “We need this lithium in order to meet carbon goals for net zero carbon”, or like, just this idea that we can’t save the planet unless we extract more. And that illustrates perfectly how we can perpetuate this mentality without realizing that we’re doing it. Because, even if you really care, like you have to look at the nuances. You have to look at what’s really behind this electric car. Because we all want the best future possible for future generations, for ourselves, for our families, or communities, etc. So you can’t, you can’t look away from that.
Absolutely. And, we’re at the point where the IPCC is giving us our final warning and looking away is not an option. So yeah, I’ve definitely feel that pieces like this that are really exposing from the top to bottom, like from beginning to end what technology means, what extraction means what, what the products that we see on our tables and roads every day. Those are easy to purchase on Amazon, but the “how it got there”, there’s more to the story and the number of people and communities that they impact for sure.
So, I’ve heard you mention, you know, green technologies like battery storage and things like that. And so it’s sounding like you’re, and I assume others, are asking that folks just take a pause, take a beat before we move headlong into any of these technologies. Why do you feel like that pause, amongst this urgency of climate collapse, climate crisis is really necessary before we move towards what we hope is a more sustainable future? Why do you feel like that pause is important?
I think that I think it’s important to point out that this is the cycle that’s been happening, and that we have an opportunity. And I say “we” as in like everyone in the world, but especially the people in the United States. We have an opportunity to do things differently. Accepting that there’s been a cycle of this erasure, this whole American history [audio interference], and that even projects like this act as something to erase that history of Indigenous peoples as well. And that’s something that’s another aspect of this is. If they did build this mine here, they would effectively be erasing the history of where the massacre took place.
And so anyway, and so we have to pause now. We have an opportunity, collectively as a society to stop and to decide to do things differently. Because, you know, as an Indigenous person, and just as a person alive today, like the climate is important to me, Indigenous rights are important to me. We’re not saying lithium is bad. But we do need to stop and take a moment and decide together that we should do things differently. “Going green” and taking care of the planet and taking care of human beings should not come at the cost of violating Indigenous people’s rights and it shouldn’t come at the cost of the environment. Because as Lauren pointed out before, like these extractive processes is greatly damaging to the environment, and the method that’s used. And so that’s where we have to really kind of point out that there’s a lot of things that need to be done to make this more equitable and to make it a just process.
But one thing we definitely wanted to do with this documentary is not just point at “these are the flaws” and “this is what historically has been happening”, “this is what’s happening now”. But part of the solution as one of the first steps to fixing this and addressing Indigenous rights being violated, and the damage to the planet, is that Indigenous peoples need decision making power at every step of this process. Because right now, it’s very much missing. And so, you know, there’s a lot of things that need to be, the laws need to be changed. But we mustn’t forget that Indigenous peoples need decision making power in every step of these processes.
And something that I also like to kind of point out as well is that if you’re someone who’s concerned about the environment, and concerned about climate change, you also need to be concerned about Indigenous peoples’ rights as well. Because a victory for Indigenous peoples’ rights is also a victory for the environment as well. And because of the Indigenous land ethics, and how we relate to the land, and the environmental community, of environmental activists and community can do, will do well to learn and align themselves with the Indigenous peoples. Because for a long time now, before there was any sort of environmental movement, Indigenous peoples have been advocating for this land, and taking care of it, and took care of it for thousands of years before this. And so, you know, I think the environmental community can learn a lot from the Indigenous community and the Indigenous resistance to these disastrous effects of colonialism and extractivism like we see today.
Definitely, yes, as you’ve both mentioned, and Lauren, and I’ll definitely turn it off to you in just a sec. The Western idea of environmentalism is having to have this reckoning with alternate perspectives: Indigenous perspectives, Eastern perspective, whichever non-European, non-Western perspective is out there. Those need to be heard, and they need to be considered in the conversation, which is what I’m hearing you say, Lauren, what did you have?
Yeah, I just so I just wanted to be clear to about, there are ways to go about the transition mindfully. I think it doesn’t have to require every single person having their own electric car. And, you know, first of all, the, you know, the amount of people that can actually access electric cars is very limited. You know, but so I think, just want to speak to centralized, electrified transportation that runs reliably, restructured cities, all of these things that we can be thinking about to reduce our dependence on cars. You know, because, I’m reliant on a car right now, and I’m sure many of us, many of us are so how do we make it so that that’s not the case? So that we don’t continue to perpetuate this idea that we need to have a car because the system will be restructured so that we don’t.
Absolutely. So thinking creatively and not being bound by what we see around us today, thinking bigger than then what we know already.
Yeah, and I actually just want to add one more thing, too. So the batteries themselves are not built to be recycled. They’re built to optimize for energy density, which basically just means having the most power in the smallest battery, because that creates this “best product”, so people have the power that they want or so to speak in their car.
So there is a way to build batteries in order to be recycled. But the thing is that the recycling system, they go for the metals that are going to give them the most profit, and it’s set up so that they can’t operate unless they meet their financial goals. So, they might say, “Oh, I can get the most money, if I focus on this one metal, I’ll extract the metal, and then the rest will go to landfill.” And since they’re not built to be recycled, the actual recycling process for the batteries as they are built today, is extremely chemically intensive and harsh. So it’s arguably not worth it at that point. The battery has to be built to be recycled, which means that profit can’t be at the center. Because if profit is, as long as profit is at the center, it just won’t be viable from a business perspective.
Sure, that makes sense. Yes.
The, the dichotomy between doing what’s best for the planets and people and what’s best for shareholders and bottom lines, they’re there, they’re not always going to be aligned and frequently will be at opposition. And that’s absolutely part of the reckoning that we need to have and that I feel like a lot of folks are beginning to think about and have the conversations around, but absolutely not at the right, not at the speed we need them to be.
Thank you both for sharing all of that important information, not only about the film, but just about, I think just about technology and about how folks need to be thinking about what we adapt and adopt first. There’s just so much that we, I think, as a collective don’t understand. And understanding science, when science is under attack, seems to be really important for folks to really, to really take seriously.
Before we talk more about the film and Peehee Mu’huh itself. I’d love to take a step back and learn a bit more about y’all. What has been your journey? How did you get to becoming filmmakers? What is it that you love to do in the outdoors, if that’s something that you enjoy? Yeah, tell me about. Tell me about yourself. James.
Thanks. Yeah. Um, so I grew up on Diné Bikéyah, the Navajo Nation, as it’s known in English, and I was born and raised there. And my sort of Navajo identity has been really cultivated by people like my grandmother, who was a medicine woman and my family who have always practiced Navajo spirituality. And a big component of that is, of course, being with the land. And my nation has done a lot to acquire a lot of its original land back pre-European invasion, but not all of it. And, so growing up, out in the outdoors, I absolutely love it. It is where I feel the most comfortable. And my journey as a filmmaker, because it’s kind of started with this sort of the spiritual principles of growing up in a Navajo culture. Storytelling is how we propagate our spirituality, our faith, essentially. And the way of telling an Navajo story is very different than the Westernized way. And the Westernized way you tell a little fable or tale and you say, and “Now this is why Red Riding Hood needed to do this”. And “This is why you don’t go out at night” or something, you know. They really like to wrap up make sure hammer home what it is what thought they want you to walk away with.
But Navajo storytelling, it’s very more, it’s much more inclusive, you treat your listener with dignity, and give them that nobility. And so when you tell a story, you know, the listener is going to take up those little mines of wisdom and virtue, and like for themselves, you know and since every person relates to a story differently. And so, because of that love for storytelling that you know, I grew up very poor, didn’t have access to a camera. So I used to write a lot of stories, but until eventually, someone put a camera in my hand and I really responded and really liked the visual way of telling the story through film, you know, motion picture, and in my professional career, I’ve focused more on documentaries. I do both narrative and documentary film.
And because you know, growing up as an Indigenous person in this country, it’s very clear from a very young age that this Western society, you get the idea is made very clear. And the idea is that native people don’t belong here. Not only you’re not welcome, that’s different, but you don’t belong here. And there are these resistance movements that are fighting back against these destructive forces of colonialism. And, and so I wanted to use my storytelling abilities and my skills as a filmmaker, to really tell the Indigenous perspective. And, because it’s something that’s very personal to me. So you know, because we haven’t had the right to tell our own stories historically. And we still are fighting for that, right. And so, I wanted to use my skills as a filmmaker to really tell the Indigenous perspective, both as a Navajo person and an Indigenous person. And right now what that looks like, is this documentary that Lauren and I are producing. And so that, that’s kind of a general gist of my story about why this is important to me, and why I keep doing it.
Excellent. Thank you, I have a million more questions that I’d love to ask you, about yourself and your background. But, Lauren, let’s hear about yourself.
Yeah, sure. So I grew up, very much indoctrinated into the idea that intellect and logic over everything, and my background is in kind of environmental science research. And I think throughout that process of thinking that I was going to go into the field of becoming an environmental scientist, I realized that we don’t really need more studies. Like we have, we have the information. You know, we need people to understand this on a visceral level, on a level that goes beyond the intellect, that they can feel in their bodies.
Because what’s happening is the destruction of the planet that we depend on. And simultaneously the destruction of our bodies, because our health is interconnected to the health of the land. And that’s impossible to, it’s impossible to separate ourselves from that. And so, I got into filmmaking, because I wanted to kind of just tell stories that would help people, that would inform, that would help spread information about environmental science, one, but also just things that people are doing to benefit the environment. And then also just understanding the climate crisis from a more multifaceted perspective. And James was actually my video mentor. So, he showed me how to make videos to begin with. And that’s kind of how my video journey began. So, he’s a more seasoned filmmaker than I am for sure. But you know, yeah, that’s, my background.
Thank you. Yeah, thank you both for sharing that. I think it’s just really important that folks understand where these stories are, like what lens these stories are being told through. So, it’s always really valuable for our listeners to to hear about your story. So thank you.
Moon is a proud sponsor of Nizhoni Films, which is James’s film production organization. And we are happy to be able to provide the MoonVan for y’all during the filming of the documentary. We, you know, Moon at the end of the day is a travel company. We make gear to help people get outside, and a lot of folks who are customers and part of our community, whether they shop with us or not, are spending a lot of time on public lands, especially in the West. And in the West, there is just more, there’s more access to public lands, but there’s also more Indigenous nation lands. And I think a lot of folks are interacting with both lands that are controlled by both types of organizations, whether it’s the government or tribal nations. Or sorry, the US government, or tribal nations. And so, I just wanted to know if y’all have any advice, or pointers or just like things that folks should be thinking about, as they’re living recreating on… The United States is Indigenous land, everywhere we go, but especially public lands where it seems like there’s just fewer boundaries. And there’s just like, a lot of trust that we place in people. So, I just wanted to know, like, if James if you have anything that you’d ask people to just think about while they’re doing that.
So, it’s one thing that is really important, which is that Indigenous people, obviously were, have been here since predating the Ice Age. And they have an intimate and like long history, you know, collaborating with the land, and being a part of it and something that they protect and take care of because it protects and takes care of them. And so, public lands are Indigenous lands, like you said public lands are Indigenous lands. And when you, when you call it, “public land”, you know, “public land” means it’s for use by for American people. And to recreate on or to use as you know, there are limits to what they can use it for. But it’s, it’s the idea is it’s for them.
But when you call it “public lands”, you’re erasing and ignoring that, all that history of that this is Indigenous land, and that it’s been used and cultivated, and collaborated and worked with. And Indigenous people have a greater connection to the land, then when you call it public lands it erases and doesn’t acknowledge that, that severed relationship and a lot of those instances. So knowing that, and also, I would like to tell people to just kind of take a moment as well. Because, you know, when you’re on public lands, you know, it’s, you know, most people think, “Oh, it’s a place, I can camp for free. And I can do various things, maybe make a fire sometimes” as well, sometimes it isn’t. But take a moment, and you know, look at whatever canyon, your camp at, whatever valley or mountain and look at it.
And so, when I look at the nature and the land, in the Southwest, and anywhere I go in the United States, for me, it’s personal. For me, I know there are special and sacred names, and all these places have their special sacred traditional cultural uses by the people who are there. And it isn’t for me a place to recreate, it’s not a playground for me. And so, when you stop when you name it, something like public lands, you’re ignoring, you’re ignoring that other whole other relationship. And you’re calling it a playground, and there’s something else about public lands too. Next time you’re out and you look at it, the reason why it’s been created, you know, a lot of people think “I can camp there for free”, but it also exists specifically for exploitation, for extraction.
So, the next time you’re having a moment in nature, please enjoy it. But also remember that the land itself is not protected. That’s everything you look at that is public land, can be blown up, and exploited for profit. And in that sense, it is not a safe place, the land itself isn’t safe. And so I think that’s something I’d like to kind of point out. And, you know, and really just sort of, I’ve kind of, I’m kind of rambling right now. But that’s, it’s important to know.
Absolutely. I think that’s really important as folks are starting to more explore what public lands really are, and the history of how they were developed and set aside. And, yeah, the fact that, with the way that politics are so divided right now, or continuing to be divided, there could always be that person, that politician with a whim who wants to revoke protections, like we saw with Bears Ears. And, all of these protections, like you said, are fleeting, and yeah, it sounds like Indigenous stewardship is really one of the solutions to preserving that land for posterity, absolutely.
So, as we wrap up, I just want to focus a little bit on some of the groups that are on the ground in Nevada near Peehee Mu’huh, who are advocating for the area, advocating on behalf of the tribal nations and other groups that are interested in protecting it. I know PeopleofRedMountain.com, ProtectThackerPass.org are two sites and organizations that are doing of work directly in the area. And, I’d love to hear from both of you, we’ll start with you Lauren, what organizations you are interested in, what you’d like people to take away how they support these organizations. Whether it’s giving monetarily, spreading on social media, making phone calls, yeah, would love to hear about that.
Yeah, I think the two websites that you mentioned are really good, especially on ProtectThackerPass.org they have a link where it says, I believe it says “Pressure”. So, you click the button that says “Pressure” and they have a link of…or sorry they have a list of a bunch of actions that you can take, people that you can call, and also a script. So, if you wanted to, yeah, go that route and you can also support the effort financially by making donations. Honestly, I think also just learning more about it as a whole and understanding the true consequences of the so-called “green energy transition” and thinking more critically about how maybe even in your community you could figure out how to reduce dependence on cars, what local politicians maybe that you could contact or just things that you can do try to figure out how to reduce that dependence, and, I think James will list some really good resources coming up here. But, I just, something that I want people to take away is not to underestimate their own power. Also their collective power, but the actions that you take, even if they seem really small, they’re significant and they matter and they ripple out far, far more than you can ever imagine.
I love that. Thank you. Yeah, James, what do you have for us?
Well, I’m always an advocate for people to understanding more the history and aspects, so right now, there are other resources a person can go to. For example, the National Congress of American Indians, it’s a great resource for learning about Indigenous rights and what is the current proposals and legal briefs and legislation that’s being proposed. This is an organization that’s been around for decades and they’re very credible. There’s several different topics in regards to Indigenous rights, environmentalism, and how the two are often very interconnected. And I think it’s a great resource to really inform yourself and it’s current as well. So, I highly recommend people learning about this by going to National Congress of American Indians.
Another great one is IndigenousClimateAction.com, that’s also a wonderful one. And then there’s NDN Collective. That’s N-D-N, the letters “N-D-N” collective, and they do wonderful, they do grants, fellowships, and they do educational campaigning and digital Indigenous environmentalism and activism as well. And, those are great places to go to that, in addition to what Lauren suggested, is you can find out through their more direct action: who to call, who to write.
And, if you want to become more acquainted with Indigenous rights, because, like I mentioned before, a win for Indigenous rights is also a win for the environment. So, these two aren’t contradictory in terms of Indigenous people have been fighting the same forces that have caused this planet, its destruction. It’s personal. I don’t want to make it sound like just… The same forces and the same systems of colonialism and oppression that so put the planet into this crisis, are the same forces that killed and murdered my people and tried to sever us from the land. And so, it’s personal in several ways. I encourage people to really understand that history, and understand that it’s alive right now. And these forces we’re still fighting it. And I invite people to, if you want an electric car in the future, understand that that electric car, that lithium that’s in the car, and in that batter, should not, and having these things should not come at the expense of violating and infringing Indigenous peoples’ rights, and violating and exploiting the planet. There is time, if we pause right now, we can change this destructive cycle, and we can do it together. Go to these resources and understand more, and it’s going to, there’s a lot you can do.
Wow. Thank you. That is a beautiful and powerful to end this conversation.
I think it’s important to, I do want to include a shoutout to Moon, because, I think while we’re still recording, I want to say, shout out to Moon Fab. Because, without their support, they lent us a van for this project, and it was incredibly convenient, and it really helped us make this film. Because we went to a lot of these rural locations, and being there in person with the people, I felt like I was visiting extended family members because they are not of my tribe, but I really felt this kinship with them. And being able to have the resources and have people and organizations like Moon who care about these stories and these perspectives. It’s important to have their support because they’re a big contribution in getting this film shot and produced. And very grateful.
Thank you. It was an honor for us to be able to provide support to this really important project, so it’s always a pleasure.
The film is Protecting Peehee Mu’huh: Green Capitalism, Colonialism, and Resistance. The film makers, James Foguth and Lauren Glaze, thank you so much for being here. Moon is a proud sponsor of Nizhoni Films. If you’d like to join Moon in supporting this project, visit NizhoniFilms.com to learn more and to donate. That’s N-I-Z-H-O-N-I Films dot com. Thank you again Lauren and James. I hope you have a great rest of your day.
Thank you so much. This has been great. Thank you.
Yes, thank you so much.
Thank you for joining me for my conversation with filmmakers James Foguth and Lauren Glaze. We hope you will follow along with James and Lauren as they finalize their film, Peehee Mu’huh: Green Capitalism, Colonialism, and Resistance. Visit nizhonifilms.com, that’s N-I-Z-H-O-N-I-Films dot com, to learn more and to make a donation to the project. You can also follow them on Instagram, @nizhonifilms.
A huge thank you to James and Lauren and to the whole Moon community. We’ll see you on the road.