This resource has been created for post-primary school teachers in Northern Ireland to open conversations with students about mining and resource extraction. The resource makes the links with the curriculum in Northern Ireland and has designed activities that will be manageable and meaningful in a classroom setting within school time hours.
This has emerged from a deep feeling of solidarity – solidarity with communities in Peru through the connection of Northern Irish woman Lynda Sullivan, solidarity with communities locally, particularly with the Save Our Sperrins campaign, and solidarity with communities all over the world. What connects these communities? What are the shared struggles? What is the learning and solidarity we can share with one another?
Through Digging Deeper there is the opportunity to go deeper into these questions as different themes emerge – mining, resources, our connection with the earth – just to name a few. Water is an example of an issue that connects us globally and something that cannot be ignored when we talk about resources and mining. Other themes also emerge, and through the approach used, some of the shared issues will become apparent as teachers delve deeper into the surface issues.
The resource is populated with real-life stories; stories from individuals affected by the issues in Peru and Northern Ireland; stories from those who are creating real and attractive alternatives; stories from brave individuals who refuse to accept that profit and greed should be valued more than people and planet.
It supports an exploration of where we place ourselves in these often-divisive issues. What are the different perspectives involved? What are the justice questions behind the immediate issues? What are the implications of resource extraction for communities and the earth now, and for future generations?
Digging Deeper is an invitation to reconnect with ourselves and with Mother Earth, to understand the issues behind resource exploitation, to generate a feeling of solidarity with and learning from communities all around the world, and to explore what actions we can take as global citizens.
We hope that the views, opinions and questions of the students participating in the enclosed activities will lead to learning for all of us. We hope that the students will connect to the issues from their hearts as well as their heads. We hope that we will stimulate new ways into age-old debates around resource extraction and the impact of mining on communities. We hope you enjoy it.
The resource was developed out of the interests and motivation of the Comhlámh Belfast group with the support of staff in Comhlámh. It was originally developed with support from Trócaire’s Mobilising For Justice Fund.