The California Valley Miwok Tribe located at 10601 Escondido Pl., Stockton, CA (as listed in the federal register of the Bureau of Indian Affairs BIA/DOI) a federally recognized Tribe eligible to receive services from the federal government, on Monday, October 4th, 2010 – CVMT held a meeting at the Tribal Offices with Mr. Mike Thornton, Mining Project Community Organizer and representative of “The Sierra Fund”, an organization dedicated to addressing the environmental and health concerns over pollutants, hazardous chemicals and trace metals that have been left over from extensive mining and harvesting of California’s natural resources in an era long past, where there was little or no governmental oversight over such operations.
The Sierra Fund has had much success in researching, testing, and identifying various places of concern throughout Northern California, and in acquiring the funding needed to initiate clean-up of those areas. In this instance, the California Valley Miwok Tribe was contacted due to concerns that ‘The Sierra Fund’ has over locations within Calaveras County where extensive mining played a very important role in the county’s early economy. The Sierra Fund is currently addressing previous mining locations within Calaveras County that have left a current unacceptable health risk to various communities and waterways that are in a direct impact zone of these old mining sites where levels of mercury, arsenic, asbestos, and lead among other impurities pose major health risks to the current population and recreationists whom visit the area.
We would like to thank Mr. Thornton and The Sierra Fund for bringing this to our attention as Calaveras County is one of the counties within the Tribe’s service area. As such, the Tribe delivered a letter of support to The Sierra Fund on this endeavor, to help them acquire the funding needed and to work with Calaveras County throughout the process till completion, so as to help the citizens of Calaveras County to live in an environmentally safe environment.
Again, we thank Mr. Mike Thornton and The Sierra Fund for the meeting held at the Tribal Offices and for their professional and in-depth presentation as to the current health risks faced by California citizens residing within the Mother Lode that the California Valley Miwok Tribe will now be helping to address.