2020 WMAN Conference
October 1, 2020
Led by the Indigenous Caucus, in October 2020, WMAN held our first ever virtual conference, titled “Addressing Mining and Systemic Racism: Staying Connected During a Pandemic,” in lieu of the regularly scheduled in-person biennial conference. Participation took place over two weeks and was open to WMAN participants and other members of the public. The virtual conference was co-hosted with Local Environmental Action Demanded (LEAD Agency), a WMAN participant organization whose mission is community education about environmental concerns in Northeast Oklahoma. LEAD agency is a past recipient of the IEN-WMAN Mining Mini-Grant program for its work on the Tar Creek Superfund site.
Approximately 270 people registered for the conference sessions, which were recorded and are available to view online from LEAD Agency’s Facebook page, see:
For a list of Conference speakers and bios, see:
Goals for the virtual conference included:
- Building the capacity of community leaders and advocates
- Increasing the layperson’s knowledge of mining-related issues
- Promoting cross-cultural collaborations between Indigenous and non-Indigenous peoples and organizations
- Strengthening the WMAN network
Topics included water pollution remediation, risk assessments, and Superfund; tailings impoundment failures and mine safety issues; mining’s health and social impacts; mining and racism; social isolation and the pandemic; the impacts of covid on regulations, decision-making processes, and environmental protection; and government and industry’s use of COVID to further resource extraction. The conference also had a virtual tour of the Tar Creek Superfund site in Oklahoma.