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Burns Paiute Tribe asks DOJ to end occupation of ancestral land

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

The Burns Paiute Tribe is calling on the Department of Justice to end the armed occupation of the Malheur National Wildlife Refuge in Oregon.

Chairwoman Charlotte Rodrique said the tribe is worried about the destruction of artifacts at the refuge and wants charges filed against anyone who harms its cultural resources. She urged DOJ to restrict the transportation of materials to and from the site in addition to preventing people from coming and going.

"Recently many of our people have been subjected to harassment by individuals who either came here to support the protestors or have been emboldened by their example to voice bigotry and hatred toward the Indigenous people of Harney county," Roderique told Attorney General Loretta Lynch. "There is constant interaction between the lawbreakers and outsiders."

The land in and around the refuge was promised to the Northern Paiute people by a treaty that was never ratified. The tribe was later restricted to a reservation that is far smaller than the 1.78 million acres that the federal government took.

The armed takeover at the refuge, about 30 miles south of the reservation, began on January 2. Participants include members of the Bundy family from Nevada who have been involved in a series of members have been involved in high-profile anti-government protests, including one in which ancestral tribal sites in Utah were damaged.

Get the Story:
Burns Paiute Tribe asks government to halt armed Malheur protesters’ free passage (The Eugene Register-Guard 1/26)
Burns Paiute Tribe to feds: Stop allowing Bundy free passage (The Oregonian 1/25)
Tribe asks feds to stop armed group’s free travel at refuge (AP 1/25)
Oregon Officials’ Patience Wears Thin as Standoff Enters Fourth Week (The Wall Street Journal 1/24)
Bundy Militia Post Video Of Themselves Messing With Native American Artifacts (Think Progress 1/21)

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