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Native American ‘brings positivity’ to goldmine battle

A MEMBER of the Cheyenne River Sioux Tribe who stood against a crude oil pipeline in her American homeland, has helped bring “a sense of unity and positivity” to those opposed to the proposed gold mine and processing plant in Greencastle.

Chas Jewett known around the world as the Standing Rock Water Protector, held an audience of more than 200 people at the An Creagán Centre captive as she recounted her experience in taking on a major corporation and indeed the Trump administration.

The life-long environmental campaigner received a rapturous response in the Tyrone venue on Wednesday, as she spoke of her people’s spiritual connection to the land and the need to protect natural resources.

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James Orr from Friends of the Earth who helped organise the visit to the An Creagán centre described the event as a “resounding success”.

“She was really well received by the people of Tyrone, who all listened very intently to the remarkable stories she had to tell,” he said.

“We had at least 200 people there on the evening and they all came away with a new perspective and maybe a realisation that they are not alone, as quite often people can feel isolated, especially in a rural area like Greencastle.”

Mr Orr said Chas pledged to return to Tyrone and bring fellow campaigners with her to Greencastle, should the application for the gold mine and processing plant – submitted by Dalradian earlier this year – be given the green light by planners.

“In many ways the struggle which Chas and her people faced, is very similar to the situation in Greencastle.

“For Chas her main focus is the protection of water. And throughout, she spoke about being a protector rather than being a protester and changing from the language of opposition to a more positive position.

“It was a wonderful event, and turned into a great celebration of all that Tyrone has to offer. I believe Chas has helped bring people together and helped then understand what it is they are protecting, while letting them know that they are not alone.”

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