Off a lonely highway in northern Nevada, a collection of brightly colored tents, a horse trailer and latrines suddenly comes into view. It’s a stark contrast to the pale, sagebrush covered mountains.
“I’ve been camped here for about a month and a half now,” says Gary McKinney, who’s ducked under the shade of his tent, its nylon fabric flapping in the near constant wind.
McKinney, a Shoshone-Paiute tribal member from the Duck Valley Reservation in Nevada, wears black sunglasses and an American Indian Movement ski hat and tank top, exposing his tattooed, muscled arms. He’s one of a dozen or so tribal and environmental activists who started camping here early this year, a peaceful occupation, they say, in protest of a planned lithium mine on federal Bureau of Land Management land.