As the mining sector has globalized, so has the citizen response. For over a decade WMAN has provided a critical forum for communities and people facing the risks associated with mining in the United States and Canada. More than 100 organizations participate in this network. They represent the culturally and geographically diverse people and areas impacted by this issue.
WMAN isn’t just the West! While WMAN does still stand for Western Mining Action Network it no longer is western-focused. WMAN hosts an active caucus of groups in the Great Lakes region (on both the US and Canadian side of the lakes), supports communities dealing with the legacy of coal mining in the southeast US, and includes First Nations and other communities working on mining in eastern Canada as well.
WMAN is democratic. We are governed by a Steering Committee of 20 community-based leaders, serving two year terms, filling designated regional and issue-based seats. More than half of our current Steering Committee is indigenous.
WMAN multiplies our individual power; we are more than the sum of our parts. Together we build relationships that enable mutual support and cooperative action. We also provide trainings and consultation by experts in the fields of mining engineering, chemistry, hydrology, communications, policy, and legal rights.
WMAN is about high quality communication. To deliver the power of many groups working together across North America, WMAN creates connections through electronic communications, in-person strategic meetings, skills trainings that benefit many, access to technical and legal assistance, and a library of timely relevant resources. For more about how we do this visit our Programs page.
WMAN provides resources. Through the generosity of the True North Foundation, WMAN joins the Indigenous Environmental Network in hosting a mini-grant program which now gives out over $200,000 a year in $3,000 increments to locally based groups across the US and Canada. Many of those groups have limited ability to access other sources of funding. Our grantees put the funds to good use for things like mapping local resources, holding public meetings, scientific research, or traveling to meet with decision makers.
WMAN is a network that runs all of these programs on a shoestring. We don’t compete with the groups that we seek to serve. Instead we raise just enough money to sustain a network that serves our members by providing access to information and support to help them obtain their goals. We do this by hosting binational conferences, managing list serves for sharing information, providing access to affordable expertise, and supporting “caucus” groups to share common concerns (including caucuses focused on Great Lakes’ area mining, uranium mining, a young people’s caucus, and an Indigenous Caucus).