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Burns Paiute Tribe tells armed group to leave ancestral territory

Leaders of the Burns Paiute Tribe at a press conference on January 6, 2016. Photo from Facebook

Leaders of the Burns Paiute Tribe told an armed group to leave their ancestral territory as they educated the public about the true history of land ownership in Oregon.

The tribe was promised the land in and around the Malheur National Wildlife Refuge by treaty that was negotiated in 1868. But the Senate never ratified the agreement and the federal government ended up taking all 1.78 million acres.

"We as a tribe view that this is still our land no matter who's living on it," Chairwoman Charlotte Rodrique said at a press conference on Wednesday, The Oregonian reported.

Tribal leaders are worried that the armed group is damaging sacred, cultural and other sites at the refuge. About 20 people have been occupying the land since Saturday.

“They just need to get the hell out of here," council member Jarvis Kennedy said at the press conference, KTVB reported.

The armed group includes members of the Bundy family who have participated in other anti-government protests, including one in which ancestral tribal sites in Utah were damaged. They have sent conflicting messages about the nature of their occupation, their goals and how long they plan to stay.

Get the Story:
Burns Paiute Tribe: Militants need to get off 'our land' (The Oregonian 1/6)
Burns Paiute Tribe condemns occupation of wildlife refuge (KTVB 1/6)
Native tribe blasts Oregon takeover (CNN 1/6)
Native American Tribe Says Oregon Armed Occupiers Are Desecrating Sacred Land (NPR 1/6)
Oregon tribe: Armed group ‘desecrating’ their land (AP 1/6)
Harney County Sheriff: Who Wants The Bundys To Go? (Oregon Public Broadcasting 1/6)
Burns Paiute tribe, armed militia offer starkly different views on Malheur standoff (The Eugene Register-Guard 1/7)
Tribe to protesters occupying Oregon wildlife refuge: ‘We were here first … get the hell out’ (The Washington Post 1/7)
Go vegan and go home: Occupiers under siege from PETA, Native tribe (The Washington Post 1/7)

An Opinion:
Char Miller: The complicated history of who really ‘owns’ the occupied land in Oregon (The Washington Post 1/7)

Related Stories:
Charlotte Rodrique: Land rightfully belongs to Burns Paiute Tribe (1/7)
Burns Paiute Tribe not happy with armed group on ancestral land (1/6)
Armed group wants more to join protest on ancestral Paiute land (1/5)
Armed group occupies wildlife refuge near reservation in Oregon (1/4)

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