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Please save Chief Cliff

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I am writing to you today concerning the mining on the base of Chief Cliff Mountain in Elmo.

Chief Cliff has been around since the beginning of time, according to the Kootenai creation story, and is a very special and significant sacred site to not just the Kootenai people of Elmo, but to the other six bands that make up the Kootenai Nation.

Ever since I was a little boy, I have looked up at Chief Cliff as my grandparents and ancestors have also done since time immemorial. Now, the people look up at Chief Cliff and see the mining going on up there, and it’s hurting the people’s hearts.

The land that is being mined is on private property and we have no control over what happens there. The company that has been mining there has been asked to stop and wouldn’t. All they think about is the money they will make from mining and not the damage that this is causing the Kootenai Nation if anything happens to this site.

One of the resolutions is to add Chief Cliff to the National Register of Historic Places. I’ve heard this is a long process, and I don’t know how long Chief Cliff or the people can withstand the mining. There is urgency to this matter and I would like to see it resolved.

I would like to thank you for your time and consideration for taking the time to read my letter regarding a most important issue facing the Kootenai people of the Confederated Salish and Kootenai Tribes. 

Amlu Caye

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