U.S. set to seize Indian horses on Thursday, February 6, 2003 -- Western
Shoshone grandmothers brace for seizure of hundreds of Indian horses

February 5, 2003

Press Release

Crescent Valley, NV - As American citizens brace themselves for an attack on
Iraq due to non-compliance with international law, Western Shoshone
grandmothers Mary and Carrie Dann ready themselves for a U.S. attack on
their own homelands. The U.S. Bureau of Land Management has stated that
they will commence activities to round up, impound and dispose of hundreds
of Shoshone horses on Thursday, February 6. The federal agency claims that
the animals are trespassing on "public" lands; the Shoshone claim these are
Shoshone lands. The BLM's seizure activity occurs at a dangerous time for
the horses, with mares already dropping foals and snow covering the vast
mountain areas where the horses live.

The land dispute between the United States and the Western Shoshone has
been actively debated for over thirty years with the Shoshone going all the
way to the United Nations and the Organization of American States. Both
international fora have sharply criticized the United States on its laws
and policies regarding native peoples and on January 9, 2003 the
Inter-American Commission published its final decision finding the United
States in violation of international law in its treatment of the Western
Shoshone and their land rights. This recent action by the U.S. Bureau of
Land Management is timed just weeks after the international report of
violations and the publication of a legal research report finding that the
U.S. Supreme Court, the Department of Interior and the Indian Claims
Commission failed to finalize the decision upon which the U.S. rests its
legal argument to the disputed lands.

"I've heard of burying the evidence, but this is outrageous," stated Julie
Fishel, an attorney and Director of the Land Restoration Program at the
Western Shoshone Defense Project in Crescent Valley. "The United States
needs to recognize its obligations to the Western Shoshone, to the
international bodies which they work with and to the American public who
deserves to see a just result in our own country."

"The Western Shoshone have been calling upon the United States to enter
into good faith negotiations. Legal and negotiations experts have told the
United States that negotiations are reasonable. The Inter-American
Commission has told the United States its current behavior violates
international law. Instead of talking, the United States is choosing to
oust our people from their lands," stated Patricia Paul, daughter of
Carrie Dann.

"The horses aren't the issue. This has always been about the land. This
is just another intimidation tactic by the United States government to
break these ladies down." Stated Shawn Collins, a Western Shoshone, or
"Newe" which means of the people. "Mary and Carrie Dann are modern day


For Information please contact the Western Shoshone Defense Project at

From: wsdp@igc.org (Carrie Dann)



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