Jim Brown: Elem Pomo families reject insulting settlement

"As a part of the 30-day public comment period on a settlement agreement between the U.S. Department of Justice, U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, Elem Colony and Bradley Mining Co., on behalf of the Elem families residing on the Elem Reservation, I will formally submit testimony to the Department of Justice and formally notify the federal government agencies and U.S. citizens that the true living Elem Reservation residents and community members formally reject and totally disagree with the current Department of Justice settlement agreement as prescribed, for the following reasons.

If the current settlement agreement is approved it will be a travesty of the federal justice system, violation of Indian Civil Rights Act and Indian Self-determination while undermining the protection of natural resources and tribal sovereignty and is a setback of environmental justice, a denial of fair and equal compensation to the living surviving Elem members and families for their lifelong pain and suffering and loss of tribal lifeways (gathering of healthy foods and fish).

The 380 acres the tribe gained in the settlement is only a small fraction of the tribe’s total aboriginal lands that were directly lost due to the mining operations.

Further, the $50,000 for the tribe is a financial insult, and should be viewed as bribe money, so the tribe will not file another lawsuit for EPA’s 106 violations in 2006, with the cleanup resulting in damage that has been estimated at $10 million."

Get the Story:
Jim Brown: Seeking a better federal settlement agreement for the Elem Colony (The Lake County News 2/1)

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