February 12, 2018
Clerk of the Board of Supervisors, Board of Supervisors, Santa Clara County
70 West Hedding Street, East Wing, 10th Floor, San Jose, CA 95110
Dear County Board of Supervisors,
The Elder Activists for Social Justice, Conscious Elders Network supports the efforts of the Amah Mutsun Tribal Band to counter the threat of a surface mining proposal at “Juristac”, “place of the Big Head”, now known as Sargent Ranch. These Sacred Mountains could be reduced to an extractive sand and gravel mining operation, a tremendous open pit- tangible evidence of the continuing adulteration of our Mother Earth, persecution of its original inhabitants and perpetration of harm to all future generations.
To allow the desecration of this site by allowing mining on it would be an abominable decision by the Santa Clara County Board of Supervisors. The State of California, from its very beginnings, has ignored the rights of its indigenous peoples, stealing their lands, destroying their sacred sites, undermining their cultures and financing genocidal campaigns of murder (paying bounties for their scalps and getting reimbursed by the federal government). It is time to finally recognize this history, put a stop to the current perpetration of harm that a quarry pit imposes on the sacred land and start to respect the state’s first people as followers of their Creator's instruction to care for Mother Earth as stewards and protectors. Let us see our government bodies recognize that caring rather than harming is what is right for our common good- for which you are elected. This public trust impels you to act to protect rather than to allow further desecration and dishonor in the name of corporate profits
As Elders, we respect and care for the interconnected, interrelated and interdependent community of Life. We advocate for ecological integrity, social, racial and economic justice and peaceful coexistence for all people, for all species, for all time. As Elders, we raise our voices to protect our beautiful Mother Earth for the sake of our children, grandchildren, and future generations. As Elders, we feel our moral responsibility to leave a thriving and healthy environment for our descendants. We fully support the Vision and Mission of the Amah Mutsun Tribal Band as follows:
Our Amah Mutsun Land Trust continues to work hard to fulfill our goals of conserving and restoring indigenous culture and natural resources within our traditional territories; researching and educating about the traditional ecological knowledge that our ancestors developed and followed for thousands of years; and stewarding our lands to ensure a resilient future for Mother Earth and all living things..
We would hope that the elected officials who hold the future of our next generations in their hands recognize their responsibilities to them. Your action is to stop this mining operation cold, in perpetuity, protecting us all, and that should be done with the Amah Mutsun in a joint effort to reclaim their sacred site, Juristac, for their benefit and everybody else's.
With recognition of our responsibilities,
Molly Arthur, Lynne Iser, Pat Hoertdoerfer
co-conveners of Elder Activists for Social Justice, Conscious Elders Network