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Vivid storytelling, brilliant photographs showcase impact of lithium mine on Native Americans

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The debate over the planned Thacker Pass lithium mine in Nevada, which is central to President Joe Biden’s clean energy agenda, has been ongoing since the Trump administration.   

But Matthew Daly and Rick Bowmer led an all-formats team to look at the impact of the mine on Native Americans who have long lived in the area. With the help of Reno Correspondent Scott Sonner, they got unprecedented access to the site and to members of the Native American tribes who would be most affected.   

Daly and Bowmer heard emotional tales from tribe members about their concerns about the mine’s impact on the environment and on a nearby site where their ancestors had been massacred by the U.S. Cavalry after the Civil War. Bowmer captured images, still and video, of the people and the mine site, at times using a drone to help tell the story. The story was complete when Susan Montoya scored an exclusive interview with Interior Secretary Deb Haaland, the country’s first Native American Cabinet member, her first public comment on Thacker Pass.

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