Ha'Kamwe' photo by Ash Ponders for Earthjustice.


Ha’Kamwe’ is a naturally occurring hot spring in the Big Sandy River basin where the Mojave and Sonoran deserts meet in what is now known as Arizona. Ha’Kamwe’ is a sacred healing place for the Hualapai Tribe. The important cultural and ecological site is threatened by a proposed lithium mine, as a subsidiary of the Australian company Hawkstone Mining Ltd. seeks permission to explore and drill on three sides of the spring, which would destroy cultural sites and block access to the oasis for desert wildlife.

Thacker Pass

Thacker Pass

The largest known lithium deposit in the United States is in Thacker Pass, on the site of a collapsed super volcano in northern Nevada, 25 miles from the Oregon border. Thacker Pass is also known as Peehee Mu’huh in Paiute, meaning Rotten Moon because of its crescent shape and also to honor the ancestors who died there in two massacres. The site is sacred to at least 22 tribes. Lithium Americas, operating as Lithium Nevada Corporation (LNC), is planning a lithium mine on nine acres of public land.

Avi Kwa Ame

The 5,642-foot-high mountain known as Avi Kwa Ame in the Mojave language is the creation site for ten Yuman-speaking tribes including the Fort Mojave Indian Tribe. In response to more than a decade of efforts to protect the site, President Biden has designated 450,000 acres in Nevada as the “Avi Kwa Ame National Monument,” only the second monument to protect Native history.

Tomales Point

Tomales Point and Point Reyes, the Farallon Islands and the West Berkeley Shellmound, all in northern California’s Bay Area, are sacred places. Their entirety forms an immense ceremonial and mortuary complex for the Coast Miwok and Ohlone, indigenous to the San Francisco Bay Area. These coastal sites are evidence of early Polynesian settlement in the Americas.

Bears Ears

The greater Bears Ears area encompasses more than 1.9 million acres and is saturated with geological, cultural, spiritual, ecological, and archaeological diversity. Located in the southeastern corner of the land commonly known as the state of Utah, the region is defined by two 8,000-foot mountain buttes that rise above the landscape, twin plateaus resembling the ears of a large bear peeking over the northern horizon. The Hopi Tribe calls this land Hoon’Naqvut; for the Navajo, it is known as Shash Jaa’. For the Ute Tribe it is Kwiyagatu Nukavachiand for the Pueblo of Zuni, Ansh An Lashokdiwe. In each language it is “Bears Ears.”

Chaco Canyon – United States

The Greater Chaco Canyon area is a significant historical, archaeological and sacred site in northwest New Mexico. From the 9th to the 11th century, it was the center of the Pueblo civilization, and was comprised of dense apartment-like structures (pueblos), roads and plazas. The site is considered sacred to multiple Native American tribes and has been listed as a UNESCO World Heritage Site since 1987.