12
Jul
2004

Bush signs legislation confiscating Indian land

by Jerry Reynolds, Indian Country

July 9, 2004

WASHINGTON -- One of the largest ongoing seizures of Indian land in modern times will move forward following President George W. Bush’s signing of the Western Shoshone Distribution Bill on July 7.

Under provisions of the bill, Western Shoshone claims to 24 million acres of land in Nevada, Utah, California and Idaho, based on the Ruby Valley Treaty of 1863, are officially subsumed through payment by the U.S. government.

The bill will forcibly distribute approximately $145 million in funds awarded the tribe by the Indian Land Claims Commission. Most of it will go to 6,000 or so eligible tribal members, with a separate revenue stream set aside for educational purposes.

The commission acted on findings that following the Ruby Valley Treaty, which permitted non-Indian miners access to the tribal lands, a "gradual encroachment" took place that supposedly nullified the treaty.

According to the government the "gradual encroachment" theory obviated any need for official cession of land by sovereign Western Shoshone governments, a sticking point to this day with foes of the funds distribution.

//www.unknownnews.net/040702a-dn.html


Informant: littlebrit1961
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