The many settled in the territory of the Newe

The Newe, which means “the people” are
the extensive tribal ancestors or the Western Shoshone Native Americans. Their
traditional territory expanded over southern Idaho, the central part of Nevada,
parts of northwestern Utah, and the Death Valley area of southern California.
This vast area of land, which included mountains, valleys, deserts, rivers, and
lakes, offered a striking variation of wildlife and plants for the Shoshone
people to hunt, fish, and gather. The Western Shoshone’s ancestors knew
everything there was to know about their lands, and cared for its natural balance;
for these people it was land of plenty, and land that provided for their every
need.   

Before any contact with white culture,
the Newe people divided among themselves, and created small family type groups.
These small groups covered allocated areas and in such areas were given jobs to
perform. These jobs could include hunting, fishing, or gathering. In the 1820’s
once white colonization began, white people renamed the Newe Shoshone, which is
how they got their current name. Then Immigrants began to flood America because
of the gold mines in California, and of those immigrants, many settled in the territory
of the Newe people, claiming their most fertile lands.The legal battle that has been happening between the
Western Shoshone and Ruby Valley Treaty has been ongoing for decades. The Ruby
Valley treaty was a treaty of friendship and peace signed between the Western
Shoshone people and the United States Government. This treaty granted the
United States government safe passage, and the right to mine gold and other
valuable minerals that were found in their territory. Since this treaty was
signed in 1863, the U.S. had been regularly breaking this treaty, which has
resulted in decades long battle between the Western Shoshone and the United
States Government. The treaty of Peace and
Friendship was signed on October 1, 1863, in the Territory of Nevada at the
Ruby Valley. This treaty was signed between the nation of Western Shoshone and
the United States of America. The Ruby Valley treaty was signed by President Ulysses
S. Grant and was ratified by the U.S. Congress.

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Once the treaty was signed, the Western Shoshone and the
U.S. government then agreed that the Western Shoshone country would be only be
explored and mined for gold and silver, or other minerals, if and only if any
mines were discovered. They would then to be mined and worked, and once this
started agricultural settlements were allowed to be formed. Ranches were also
allowed to be established if they were required, mills were allowed to be built
and wood was allowed to be taken for their use; for building and any other
purposes that they might have in any part of the country, which is claimed by
the previously stated bands.

 

The Western Shoshone people have had their struggle and fair
share of legal battles with the federal government over broken treaties, having
been broken by the United States government. As a result of the broken treaty,
the U.S. government agreed to pay $26 million in compensation, almost a century
later, to the nation of the Western Shoshone people, but the tribe rejected
their offer. The Ruby Valley Treaty granted the tribe ownership of most of
eastern Nevada. In response to this offer, the tribe insisted the land be
returned to them instead of the accepting the money. For most of the Western
Shoshone bands, cattle ranching had become their main source of income during
the 20th century.

The Ruby Valley Treaty allowed the United States government
to dig mines and exhume gold and other minerals that were found. This treaty
also allowed people to start ranches, to take timbre and any other things that
they might need in the future. The word “encroachment” insinuates that these
activities that took place, happened against one’s will. The Western Shoshone
nation never relinquished its territory to the United States by a ratified
treaty, which is required by the organic act. The treaty of Ruby Valley never renounced
land to the United States, it only allowed them safe passage way.

 

The organic act that established the Territory of Nevada
stated that no Native American land would become part of a state or a territory
until Native Americans enlisted in a treaty with the United States where they
would transfer their lands to the U.S. government. The U.S. government has been
breaching that part of the Organic Act, and has been doing so for an estimated
$30 billion in gold and millions of acres of land. The Ruby Valley Treaty allowed the United States government
to dig mines and exhume gold and other minerals that were found. This treaty
also allowed people to start ranches, to take timbre and any other things that
they might need in the future. The word “encroachment” insinuates that these
activities that took place, happened against one’s will. The Western Shoshone
nation never relinquished its territory to the United States by a ratified
treaty, which is required by the organic act. The treaty of Ruby Valley never renounced
land to the United States, it only allowed them safe passage way.  

The organic act that established the Territory of Nevada
stated that no Native American land would become part of a state or a territory
until Native Americans enlisted in a treaty with the United States where they
would transfer their lands to the U.S. government. The U.S. government has been
breaching that part of the Organic Act, and has been doing so for an estimated
$30 billion in gold and millions of acres of land. The United Stated have tried many different tactics to
nullify the Ruby Valley Treaty with the Western Shoshone. They’ve tried to buy
out the Western Shoshone people at 3 cents per acre. According to the United
States and international law, the treaty is still effective and the land that
is inside of the treaty boundary is still subject to the Shoshone laws.  

Since 1951, the Western Shoshone people are the most bombed
nation on Earth, with having had over 1,000 nuclear bombs unleashed on their
land by the U.S. and by England. The WSNC, also known as the Western Shoshone National
Council, used their influence and challenged the U.S. jurisdiction. The WSNC
issued Land Use permits to people that participated in the anti- nuclear
gatherings at the Nevada test site. Since the issue of permits, there have been
hundreds of very simple trespassing actions onto the test site, but none of
these trespassers or trespassing cases went to court or were prosecuted, all
because the United States government wants to keep the ongoing battle with the
Ruby Valley treaty out of the courts system. Since permits have been issued,
there have been hundreds of very simple trespassing actions onto the test site.
None of these trespassers or trespassing cases went to court or were
prosecuted, all because the United States government wants to keep the ongoing
battle with the Ruby Valley Treaty out of the courts system. The Western
Shoshone National Council has declared that they are a nuclear free zone
nation. They’ve also taken the position that using Yucca Mountain as a nuclear
test site and as a waste dump is violating their treaty with the U.S. government,
and from an international standing is illegal. Since 1972 sisters Mary and Carrie
Dann, who are traditional Western Shoshone women and major leaders in their peoples’
political dispute, have been in an ongoing legal battle with the U.S. government
through lawsuits and civil disobedience to maintain their ancestral lands. This treaty was not a treaty of surrendering
their lands, but of peace and friendship, giving the United States safe passage
through Shoshone territory and allowing gold, silver, and mineral mining on
their land.

The Treaty of Ruby Valley has been
revoked and weakened by United States domestic laws, and through different
legislative acts almost 90% of the land and resources of the Western Shoshone
people eventually became subject to the Department of Interior and their
various branches, for example the Bureau of Land Management or the Department
of Energy. Mary and Carrie Dann, who’s ranch is in Crescent Valley in the heart
of Western Shoshone territory, were approached in 1973 by the Bureau of Land
Management and were told to apply for grazing permits and were told to pay
grazing fees for their livestock. The coming year the Dann sisters were sued
for trespassing, but the year before argued that their cattle were grazing on
Western Shoshone Territory. The Dann sisters have since been struggling to
maintain their way of life after the Bureau of Land Management has repeatedly
tried to impound their livestock.  Ever
since, the Dann sisters have been struggling to maintain their way of life
against the multiple attempts by the Bureau of Land Management to impound their
livestock.

The word “encroachment” insinuates that the activity happened
against one’s will. The activities that are included in the treaty are not
encroachments, the Western Shoshone Nation never relinquished its territory
through a ratified treaty with the United States. Such a ratified treaty is
required by the organic act. The organic act established the territory of
Nevada. The treaty of Ruby Valley never renounced land to the U.S. government,
it only allowed safe passage to mines.

The legal battle for the Western Shoshone people to regain
control of their lands hasn’t been resolved still. It’s the position of the
WSNC that using Yucca Mountain as a nuclear waste dump and test site violates
their treaty, and from an international standing it is illegal and breaking the
law to use Yucca mountain as a nuclear waste site. The U.S. has been violating
organic laws that were written by the U.S. government for land, gold, and
minerals that have been mined in Nevada. Never in the treaty was is mentioned
for Yucca Mountain to become a waste site. Until the Western Shoshone release
their lands to the U.S., the United States are violating the Ruby Valley Treaty
which was signed in 1863.

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