Law | National

Armed group wants more to join protest on ancestral Paiute land

The Malheur National Wildlife Refuge in Oregon. Photo from Facebook

An armed group is asking more people to join their anti-federal government protest on ancestral Paiute land in Oregon.

The occupation of the Malheur National Wildlife Refuge began on Saturday with about 20 participants, according to counts by media. Protest leader Ammon Bundy said more people are needed to conduct research into the government's ownership of the land.

"We have had non-stop people from Harney County coming by and giving us their support," Bundy said in a post on Facebook. "They are showing a excitement to participate in taking back their land and resources."

The land in and around the refuge was initially promised by treaty to the Burns Paiute Tribe. The government took all of the 1.78 million acres from the tribe, whose members pursued a land claim and were eventually paid pennies on the dollar in a settlement, according to the tribe's website.

The Bundys have acknowledged that the land was set aside as a "Indian reservation" but they have not mentioned the tribe, whose reservation is now based in Burns, about 30 miles from the refuge.

Ryan Bundy, another family member, told Oregon Public Broadcasting that the group would leave if people in the county asked them to.

The refuge has been closed indefinitely as authorities continue to monitor the situation. The FBI in Portland said it has taken the lead in investigating the occupation.

Get the Story:
Oregon militants: What you need to know Tuesday morning (The Oregonian 1/5)
An Armed Occupation In Eastern Oregon (Oregon Public Broadcasting 1/5)
In Oregon, frustration over federal land rights has been building for years (The Washington Post 1/5)
Cautious Response to Armed Oregon Protest (The New York Times 1/5)
The long fight between the Bundys and the federal government, from 1989 to today (The Washington Post 1/4)
Bundy Militia Musters Again Over Paiute Land (Indian Country Today 1/3)
Paiute land at issue in Oregon militia showdown (World War 4 Report 1/3)

Related Stories:
Armed group occupies wildlife refuge near reservation in Oregon (1/4)

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