Showing posts from July, 2016

Gods and Monsters: Bulldozer Rips Into Ancient Shoshone Sacred Site

This article was first published on Indian Country Today Media Network in July 2016.  A bulldozer plows up an ancient trail, lined with medicinal plants, in a  sacred site the Western Shoshone and others have used for more than 10,000 years. A three-judge panel of the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals has denied the Te-Moak Band of Western Shoshone’s request for an emergency injunction to stop the destruction of an ancient trail in the Tosawihi Quarries, a 10,000-year-old sacred site. Though a legal appeal and an over-arching lawsuit concerning the entire project are still pending, an international gold-mining consortium’s bulldozer is already at work constructing a power line along the doctoring trail, said the Band’s attorney, Rollie Wilson, of the law firm Fredericks Peebles & Morgan.  The construction equipment was fired up within days of the court’s June 8 order, according to Wilson. The panel’s one-page decision did not detail the court’s reasoning in this matter. D

Down and Dirty: Destruction Accelerates at Ancient Native Site

This article first appeared on Indian Country Today Media Network in July 2016.  M embers of the Battle Mountain Band of Te-Moak Western Shoshone visited the Tosawihi Quarries on June 22 to view and pray over the remains of a doctoring trail that leads into and through the sacred site. The trail, which has been declared eligible for the National Register of Historic Places, is a critical feature of a northern Nevada cultural landscape that the Western Shoshone and other tribes have used for more than 10,000 years. However, construction of a mining-related power line along the doctoring trail is in the process of obliterating it. Starting about two weeks prior to the June 22 visit shown here, a road has been bulldozed over the spiritual pathway, and a long trench has been gouged across the face of a nearby hillside. Battle Mountain Band council member and former chairman Joe Holley said that when tribal members saw what was happening, they were horrified and speechless. “It i