BURNS PAIUTE RESERVATION — Leaders of the Burns Paiute Tribe on Wednesday called on militants occupying a federal wildlife compound to end their standoff.
In a press conference, the tribal council sought to educate the public about their own painful history with the federal government. The militants, they said, are only making things worse for everyone in Harney County. Burns Paiute Tribal chair Charlotte Roderique spoke out at a conference and said, “Militants need to get off ‘our land’.
The Burns Paiute Tribe, has a small reservation about an hour outside the Malheur National Wildlife Refuge. “They just need to get the hell out of here,” said Jarvis Kennedy, a member of the Burns Tribal Council. “They didn’t ask anybody, we don’t want them here…our little kids are sitting at home when they should be in school. To me they are just a bunch of bullies and little criminals coming in here and trying to push us around over here and occupy our aboriginal territories out there where our ancestors are buried,” Kennedy said.
The group of 20 or so militants, led by right-wing activists Ammon Bundy and his two brothers, seized the refuge headquarters and have been occupying the area since early January.
The Paiute Tribe once occupied a large swath of land that includes the Malheur National Wildlife refuge — archaeological evidence dates back 6,000 years — but they were forced out in the late 1870s. Before settlers arrived, the tribe used it as a wintering ground, said Charlotte Roderique, the tribal chair, “We as a tribe view that this is still our land no matter who’s living on it.”
To honor of our fellow Oregon Tribe, and at their request for support, the Klamath Tribal Council sent forth a letter showing our support of their rights as the indigenous people of that land.
For more information you can google: Oregon Stand Off at: www.oregonlive.com
Ms. Taylor R. Tupper
Klamath Tribes Public Information/News Dept.
Tribal Administration Office
501 Chiloquin Blvd, Chiloquin, Oregon 97624
Phone: 541-783-2219 ext. 147