2003 Likely Europe's Hottest in 500 Years
By The Associated Press
Friday 05 March 2004
WASHINGTON (AP) -- Last year's deadly summer in Europe probably was the hottest on the continent in at least five centuries, according to researchers who analyzed old records, soil cores and other evidence. More than 19,000 people died.
Researchers at the University of Bern, Switzerland, collected and analyzed temperature data from all over Europe, including such climate measures as tree rings from 1500. They found that the climate has been generally warming and last summer was the most torrid of all.
"When you consider Europe as a whole, it was by far the hottest," said Jurg Luterbacher, climatologist and the first author of a study appearing this week in the journal Science.
Luterbacher said the study showed that European winters are also warmer now. The average winter and annual temperatures during the three decades from 1973 to 2002 were the warmest of the half millennium, he said.
Some studies have linked rising average temperatures in North America and elsewhere to global warming caused by the burning of fossil fuels, but Luterbacher said his team did not attempt to make such a connection.
"We don't make any analysis of the human influence," he said. "We don't attempt to determine the cause. We only report what we find."
Other climatologists, however, say the new study agrees with models that have predicted a steady rise in global temperature as the result of greenhouse gases released into the atmosphere from the burning of fossil fuels and other sources.
Stephen Schneider, a climate expert at Stanford University and a prominent advocate for the theory of human-caused global warming, said the Luterbacher paper is consistent with what climate modelers have been predicting for 20 years.
"The data is starting to line up showing that those projections were correct," Schneider said. "We warned the world that this was likely to happen because we believed the theory, but couldn't actually prove it was happening. Now the data is coming in."
In the study, Luterbacher and his team analyzed the temperature history of Europe starting in 1500 to the present. For the earliest part of the half millennium, the figures are estimates based on proxy measures, such as tree rings and soil cores. But after about 1750, he said, instrumented readings became generally available throughout Europe.
During the 500 years, there were trends both toward cool and toward hot. The second hottest summer in the period was in 1757. That was followed by a cooling trend that continued until early in the 20th century. The summer of 1902, for instance, was the coolest of the entire record.
Starting in 1977, the record shows "an exceptionally strong, unprecedented warming," the researchers report, with average temperatures rising at the rate of about 0.36 degrees per decade.
Then came last summer.
"The summer of 2003 exceeded 1901 to 1995 European summer temperatures by around 2 degrees C (3.6 degrees Fahrenheit)," the study said. "Taking into account the uncertainties (in the study method), it appears that the summer of 2003 was very likely warmer than any other summer back to 1500."
Record temperatures were recorded in most of the major cities of Europe last summer, with many readings over 100 degrees. Authorities have attributed thousands of deaths to the excess heat, making the heat wave one of the deadliest weather phenomena in the past century.
In France, the toll was estimated at about 14,802 dead. About 2,000 more than normal died in August in England and Wales. On Aug. 11, Britain's hottest day on record, there were 363 more deaths than average and the temperature reading reached 101.3 in Brogdale in southeastern England.
Altogether in Europe, based on official numbers collected by The Associated Press, there were more than 19,000 excess deaths in the summer months. France was hardest hit, but the average number of summer deaths increased by 4,175 in Italy, 1,300 in Portugal and more than 1,000 in the Netherlands.
The intense heat also wilted crops, caused wildfires and continued a centurylong trend of melting the continent's glaciers.
Luterbacher said some mountain glaciers have shrunk by 50 percent in the past century in Europe, and some ice fields lost 10 percent of their mass last summer alone.
In addition, he said, the long trend of warming temperatures is now melting the high altitude permafrost -- the soil that usually remains frozen year-round -- and that some buildings, bridges and roadways are now threatened with unstable foundations.
And it may get worse, said Luterbacher. He said some studies forecast that if the warming trend continues, Europe may have summers like 2003 every other year starting late in this century.
SECRETARY-GENERAL HAILS CONTRIBUTIONS OF INDIGENOUS PEOPLES
TO HUMAN CIVILIZATION IN REMARKS IN MACHU PICCHU, PERU
Following is the statement delivered by Secretary-General Kofi Annan on indigenous peoples in Machu Picchu, Peru, on 12 November, 2003:
I would like to thank you (President Toledo) and Eliane for bringing Nane and me here.
You have every reason to take pride in your heritage. When I look around me, and I see the construction here, I often wonder what we are going to leave to future generations, when I see the kind of architecture and buildings that we are putting up in many parts of the world. And, its not just here. The ancient cultures did things that we couldnt imagine, and probably would find very difficult to do today. So, for you to plead with us to treasure this valuable cultural heritage and to share it with the rest of the world is something that we should all listen to.
Here, amidst the peaks of the Andes in Peru, the enormous contributions of indigenous peoples to human civilization are everywhere on display -from the sacred ruins of the Inca empire to the crops that grow on the mountainsides. In the jungles of the Amazon too, indigenous communities have lived for millennia in harmony with the rainforest, and they continue to do so today.
And, throughout Latin America, one sees the extraordinary diversity of indigenous cultures and the potential contribution their knowledge and values can make to poverty eradication, sustainable agriculture, and indeed to our concept of life. From here in Peru to the Philippines, and from the deserts of Australia to the ice-covered lands of the Arctic circle, indigenous peoples have much to teach our world.
But to come to the Andean region is also to appreciate how fragile the existence of many indigenous peoples is. In this region -and in other parts of the world, too - indigenous lands, waters, languages, health and cultures, long devastated by the legacy of colonial oppression, continue to be under grave threat. The environment is being destroyed and indigenous people are too often excluded from decisions that crucially affect the life of their communities. They suffer from prejudice, poverty, and disease. Some indigenous groups even face the terrible threat of extinction.
The discrimination and marginalization faced by indigenous children is particularly disturbing. The United Nations Childrens Fund (UNICEF) will soon launch a report that shows the unacceptably high rates of infant mortality, and the unacceptably low levels of birth registration, vaccination and education, among indigenous communities.
The international community can no longer tolerate this situation. Nor should any society where it is happening. I hope everyone will take the UNICEF report, as a call to action to promote the highest standard of health and nutrition, to guarantee multi-cultural education of high quality, and to give indigenous children a voice in the decisions that affect their lives.
Indigenous peoples must be full partners in efforts to protect their children, just as they must participate in all decisions that affect their communities and the countries of which they are citizens. Already, indigenous women are making a special contribution to these processes. They must be allowed and encouraged to do more.
Indigenous peoples must play their full part at the international level, too. They can now, at least, voice their collective aspirations at the United Nations through the Permanent Forum on Indigenous Issues, where their leaders and experts help to shape the policies and priorities of the United Nations, as a whole. This year, the Permanent Forum on Indigenous Issues highlighted the urgent need for action to give indigenous children a better life. And the Committee on the Rights of the Child just adopted stronger measures to monitor Statesfulfilment of their responsibility to protect and promote indigenous childrens human rights.
Let us all listen to the voices of indigenous peoples, and act as their partners to protect their rights, particularly those of indigenous children. This will not only help to right historic wrongs and remove current injustices. It will truly enrich us all.
With our help, the indigenous children of today can be leaders of tomorrow.
Kutimunay kama. [You will always be with me.]
Carrie Dann - Petra Speech, November 7, 2003
Good evening. My name is Carrie Dann. I am Western Shoshone. It is an honor to be a part of this group and I accept this award on behalf of my sister Mary, and myself. It is good that an organization like this recognizes two old women like ourselves. I don't know that we deserve any award, but we do try to live our lives in a good way and keep our understanding of freedom in our hearts and in our minds and in our soul.
I am indigenous to this Turtle Island, what is now called the United States. What that means is that my parents, and grandparents and all of my ancestors before me were born and raised and died on these lands - lands in what is known now as the State of Nevada.
Our teachings tell us that the Creator placed us here as caretakers of the lands, the animals, all the living things. We were placed here with a responsibility. I, and my sister Mary, as traditional Shoshone, live that responsibility every day of our lives. In indigenous society, there are four things that are sacred above all. Those things are the land, the air, the water and the Sun.
We see the earth as our mother, that which gives us all life. The water is like the blood in our veins, the air, that which nourishes the cycle of life and the sun, that which encourages growth, warmth and replenishment. This is our religion. That which is sacred and defines who we are as a people.
We know the creation stories of our people and our land and now, in today's times, the powers of the United States government and the corporations want to rip us from this belief system by paying us in crumbs through a legislative measure called the Western Shoshone Distribution Bill, in the House it is bill number 884, sponsored by Congressman Gibbons.
Not only do they want to rip us from our lands, but the activities the government is allowing to happen in the name of the almighty dollar are destroying our earth, contaminating our water and contaminating our air. One example is the gold mining. The process being used is open pit cyanide leach mining. In that process, the gold companies - large multinationals such as Kennecott, Placer Dome, Barrick and Newmont and others - take the water out of the water table at a rate of 30 - 70 thousand gallons of water per minute.
Do you know what happens to the earth when that happens? Do we know what the earth mother is saying when they are draining her vital liquids? Is she crying out in pain? Do we know? And what are the future generations saying to us as we do these things? Are they saying to us stop! Wake up! What are you doing to our world? And this is not just limited to humans, but to all life. As everyone watches Iraq, and world politics and whose killing who - all the while, our earth mother that which provides us with ALL life is being raped and mutilated, over and over and over again.
Let me tell you quickly - very briefly - what my sister and I have been fighting for. We fight in a battle we were born into as indigenous people in the United States. We did not ask to be in this struggle, we did not look for struggle and controversy - it was forced upon us.
In 1973, the Department of Interior served my sister with a notice of trespass for our animals grazing on lands where they had always grazed. My sister asked what the notice was. The man told her our cattle were in trespass. My sister responded that they couldn't be in trespass because they were on Shoshone lands. The only time we would be trespassing, she told him, would be if we were on Paiute land - over to the west. The Department of Interior sued us anyway.
Our problem is that the lands we were placed upon have now been seen as valuable to the gold corporations, the energy industry and the nuclear industry. Currently, our lands produce the third largest production of gold in the world. We went through the United States Court systems, all the way to the Supreme Court, we went to the United Nations, the organization of American States. Instead of respecting our rights, the United States set up what is called the Indian Claims Commission - an agency to pay us for something we never sold or want to sell - our land which to us is our culture and our identity.
In the United States, the courts shut us out without a hearing on land title - why? Because we are native people. Because this country is founded on racism and oppression. This is not just an historic truth it is the truth of the situation today. Genocide may no longer be taking place against our people in a physical way, but spiritually, we are under full attack - and we're fighting like hell.
My sister, Mary always talks about how she thought this country was founded on freedom and justice. But all we have seen from the courts and the commissions is injustice. Our rights guaranteed under the Constitution of the United States have been denied to the indigenous peoples and we have never been given a hearing on our land title. A year ago in December, the Organization of American States, the Inter-American Commission on Human Rights ruled in our favor and found the United States in violation of international law and our rights to property, to due process and to equality under the law.
Instead of sitting down and talking with our people in good faith, the United States instead has been using armed military force on our lands to steal cattle and horses and to conduct ongoing surveillance as a way to intimidate us into just accepting the crumbs they are throwing out to us. Now, in the halls of Congress, with the Western Shoshone Distribution Bill, members of Congress seem to hold our fate in their hands.
Economically we were a self-sustaining people. With these recent actions stealing our livelihood we are now facing economic starvation designed to remove us from our lands. To me, that is terrorism. Domestic terrorism. This behavior is designed to steal our dignity, our honor and to make us feel that we are less than or lower than human - we are treated like animals. We are being dehumanized.
Many Western Shoshone continue to press these issues on an international level because to allow the United States to treat indigenous peoples in this way sets an example to the rest of the world that it is ok to treat people in this manner. Hopefully, our actions will help to move the United States into doing what is right in the name of dignity and human rights. Here, in the United States, we have just filed another lawsuit - this one challenges the United States directly on the unconstitutional nature of the Indian Claims Commission and the unlawful manner in which the United States is trying to force us off our lands. Only time will tell if we will be successful, but history will reflect our struggle and the fact that we have never agreed to sell our birth rights. Our land is not for sale - the United States thinks it can do whatever it wants, but we know and our children and grandchildren will know that we never sold our land.
Thank you for your time this evening and again, thank you for this honor.
For Additional Information, please contact:
Western Shoshone Defense Project
Ms. Magazine Recognizes Western Shoshone grandmothers, Mary and Carrie Dann for Their Bravery in Defending Native Land and Cultural Rights
October 3, 2003
Crescent Valley, NV. Mary and Carrie Dann, Western Shoshone grandmothers and activists have been selected by Ms. Magazine as Women to Watch - 2003. The winter issue of Ms. Magazine, being released in December, will carry the story of these brave and tenacious women who, along with other Western Shoshone, are making a difference and have taken on some of the most powerful industries in the world and the United States government in their struggle to protect Western Shoshone land and culture.
The Danns have squared off against international gold mining corporations, the nuclear industry and the U.S. government since their teenage years. Through the years Carrie and Mary have been recognized time and time again for their unwavering commitment to the rights of indigenous peoples. In the mid-1980s they received the "Wonder Woman Award" from the Wonder Woman Foundation in New York City. For "preserving the distinct values and heritage" of their Western Shoshone ancestors they received the "Ellis Island Congressional Medal of Honor" in April 1992. The sisters were also awarded the "International Right Livelihood Award" from Sweden in 1993 for their "courage and perseverance in asserting the rights of indigenous peoples to their lands." In seeking relief for the ongoing violations against native peoples in the United States, the Danns have gone all the way to the United Nations, the Organization of American States, and are now back in the courts of the United States.
Earlier this week, Carrie Dann returned from Washington D.C. after representing her traditional family as plaintiff in a lawsuit against the United States for violations of the 1863 Treaty of Ruby Valley. The lawsuit, in which other Western Shoshone tribal and traditional governments and individuals are also serving as plaintiffs, seeks a judicial declaration of Western Shoshone title to their ancestral lands and accounting of monies owed to the Western Shoshone by the United States. The lawsuit charges that the process used by the United States to claim extinguishment of Western Shoshone title is unconstitutional and violates fundamental rights to due process.
Carrie Dann states: "We are standing on the front lines to make sure there is a future for the Western Shoshone and the generations not yet born. We have tried to talk reasonably with Congress and with the United States, but they brush us aside and deal only with those Western Shoshone who agree to be 'good Indians' and take the scraps that are thrown to them. For the muscle and media spin the Department of Interior, Senator Reid and Congressman Gibbons have placed on this issue, it's obvious that the corporate interests that want us off this land are very powerful indeed." "Our intent in the lawsuit is not to attack private property interests of towns and ranchers - in our Treaty of Peace and Friendship with the United States, the Western Shoshone agreed to allow settlements and ranches and the United States agreed to recognize our land boundaries. Our ancestors did not agree to sell their birthrights and neither do we. This land is our home. We have lived up to our end of the Treaty, we only want the United States to live up to theirs and to treat us with dignity and respect instead of harassing us with armed removal and surveillance, and a forced payoff of pennies on the dollar. We are demanding good faith negotiations - the same demand the Western Shoshone have been making for years and no one has been listening." She added. Jeff Herman, Attorney on the Western Shoshone lawsuit against the U.S. added: "This lawsuit is the first of its kind. It raises critical legal issues never before addressed, in fact despite all previous litigation, no case has ever been filed where a judge has had an opportunity to interpret the Treaty."
June 4, 2003
Amnesty International Expresses Concern As
U.S. Continues Enforcement Actions Against Western Shoshone
Crescent Valley, NV. In the Nation's capital, Amnesty International
issued a report on indigenous rights violations in the Americas
expressing concern about an international ruling that the
United States is violating the human rights of the Western
Meanwhile, in the winding valleys of the Southfork Indian
community in Nevada, the U.S. Department of Interior issued
several orders of impoundment against Western Shoshone ranchers
over the weekend.
Amnesty noted particular concern about recent developments
indicating an escalation of Indigenous human rights abuses.
Amnesty's report is based on the Inter-American Commission
on Human Rights' December, 2002 decision that the U.S. government
is violating international human rights laws in regard to
its treatment of the Western Shoshone.
The report calls into question the U.S. government's handling
of millions of acres of Western Shoshone ancestral land. For
the United States, rounding up Western Shoshone livestock
appears to be business as usual.
"They may not be killing our people physically as they did
before, but they are killing us spiritually, emotionally and
economically and violating international law too. Our leaders
signed a treaty of peace and friendship with the United States,
we have acted in good faith. We have taken up cattle grazing
and allowed settlers to cross our lands and set up some private
establishments." Stated Raymond Yowell, Chief of the Western
Shoshone National Council.
"But the United States has not lived up to its word. If
we live in a civilized world, what is stopping the U.S. from
sitting down with us and treating us as human beings worthy
The livestock confiscations occur at the same time Congress
pushes a bill for a one-time payoff of 15 cents an acre for
Western Shoshone lands now worth billions to developers and
gold mining companies.
The Amnesty International Report is timely indeed and raises
serious questions about the U.S.' failure to find a fair remedy
to the situation.
"The United States has perpetuated an attempted fraud against
the Western Shoshone for many years. The pinnacle of this
legal maneuvering was in 1985, when the U.S. Supreme Court
held that when the U.S. Interior Secretary accepted monies
from the U.S. Indian Claims Commission, that it was the same
as payment being accepted by the Western Shoshone for their
land - despite the fact that, the people had rejected the
money and the Indian Claims Commission process. We were then
told we could no longer use our land title as a basis for
litigation in the U.S. courts.
" In Dec. of 2002, the O.A.S. issued its report on our case
and found violations of due process, equality under the law
and the right to property.
" In Jan. of 2003, the Indigenous Law Institute found that
even under its own written law, the U.S. Indian Claims Commission
had never filed a final report with Congress as required.
" Now, in May of 2003, Amnesty International has issued its
report, expressing concern for U.S. accountability and compliance
with international law in our case.
" Finally, the years of deception practiced by the United
States government against the Western Shoshone have come to
light and the only process that the United States hung its
hat on in relation to Western Shoshone Territorial rights
is beginning to unravel."
Chief Raymond Yowell, Western Shoshone National Council.
For a copy of the report, Indigenous Rights
are Human Rights: Four Cases of Rights Violations in The Americas,
please contact Reah Johnson at email@example.com.
WESTERN SHOSHONE DEFENSE PROJECT P.O. Box
211308 Crescent Valley, NV 89821 775-468-0230 775-468-0237
Thursday, June 5
FYI -- Coalition of National/International
Organizations highlight the situation of the Western Shoshone
in Bechtel Action Week. Protests in San Francisco to feature
Western Shoshone National Council speaker Ian Zabarte. ***
Contact: Mary Bull: 415-509-1188 June 4, 2003
Massive Peaceful Protest At Bechtel's World
Bechtel Exposed as Threat to Iraqi Environment, Human Rights,
& Basic Services
US citizens flooding Congress with calls for cancellation
WHAT: Protest at Bechtel's World Headquarters
*Attention photo & TV editors -- Dramatic, Colorful and
WHEN: Thursday - June 5, 2003 7:00am all day
WHERE: 50 Beale Street
Additional Actions at Bechtel's Lobbying Offices in Washington,
Today is National Congressional Call-In Day
BACKGROUND - On March 20 and 21, anti-war activists shut
down Bechtel's world headquarters in San Francisco to "unplug"
the U.S. corporations pushing and profiting off of the U.S.
invasion of Iraq. On Thursday, June 5, activists will return
to Bechtel to peacefully demand that their $680 million contract
be rescinded so that the needs of the Iraqi and American people
can be met and the corporate invasion of Iraq stopped. Protests
will also take place at Bechtel's lobbying offices in Washington,
DC and at a nuclear submarine facility managed by Bechtel
in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania.
"Bechtel has a legacy of unsustainable and destructive practices
that have reaped permanent human, environmental and community
devastation around the globe," said Mary Bull of Direct Action
to Stop the War. "The selection of Bechtel makes it clear
that the Iraqi people's desperate need for humanitarian assistance
is being sacrificed in favor of U.S. corporate profit."
"Rather than be granted control over many of Iraq's most
valuable resources, Bechtel should be held accountable for
its past and current destructive practices," said Buff Bradley,
a member of the Presente Cluster of Direct Action to Stop
the War. "We shut Bechtel down in March to stop the military
invasion of Iraq, and we'll shut them down again on Thursday
to stop the corporate invasion before it begins."
Communities in on-going struggles with Bechtel will take
part in the protests, including San Francisco IFPTE Union
Local 21 and Ian Zabarte of the Western Shoshone National
Council. "I traveled from Nevada to deliver a letter from
my people to Riley Bechtel demanding that he respond to the
cancer, the environmental devastation and the social upheaval
brought by his company to our land." Bechtel manages the Nevada
Nuclear test site and wants to manage a nuclear waste facility
on Shoshone land.
Several letters from other Bechtel affected communities
will also be delivered on Thursday, including a letter from
the people of Cochabamba, Bolivia to the people of Baghdad
warning them of the threat posed by Bechtel's potential water
privatization based on their own devastating experience.
The protest is part of nationally coordinated actions against
Bechtel during the first week of June. Today, Congressional
offices are being flooded with demands to cancel Bechtel's
contract and implement a truly democratic reconstruction,
led by the Iraqi people with the help of international institutions
like the United Nations.
April 18, 2003
Western Shoshone Continue Gathering Support
in Native Land Rights Struggle
Crescent Valley, NV In a showing of solidarity
and support, two-time Green Party Vice-Presidential Candidate
Winona LaDuke and grammy-award winning musicians Indigo Girls
paid a personal visit to Western Shoshone National Council
members Raymond Yowell and Carrie Dann. The visit was made
as part of the Honor the Earth Tour kicked off April 10 at
St. Olaf College in Northfield, Minnesota. The tour highlights
native environmental issues and alternative energy production.
The Western Shoshone are currently facing an onslaught of
foreign owned and other multinational corporate attempts to
begin massive energy production on lands subject to a longstanding
legal dispute. The corporate efforts are heavily supported
by the Bush administration's new "expedited" energy policy
and Nevada Senator Harry Reid. Senator Reid is also sponsor
to the Western Shoshone Distribution Bill allegedly paying
off the native people for their lands at approximately 15
cents an acre. The majority of the disputed lands are currently
classified by the United States as "Public Lands".
"This visit underscores the ongoing strength of our struggle
for justice we will continue on our path, encouraged by the
support that flows from individuals like Winona LaDuke and
the Indigo Girls." Stated Chief Raymond Yowell, Western Shoshone
February 5, 2003
Today, federal agents started moving into Western
Shoshone homelands to set up impoundment operations
to seize Mary and Carrie Dann's horses scheduled for
tomorrow, February 6. Due to bad weather the previous
weekend, over 400 horses still remain to be gathered
by the Western Shoshone Nation. The Bureau of Land Management
(BLM) is refusing to wait until the horses can be corralled,
as they previously indicated. We are preparing to monitor
the situation and need your help in bringing attention
and justice to this struggle.
ACT IMMEDIATELY!!!! Please call, write, or email President
Bush, Secretary of State Colin Powell, Secretary of
the Interior Gale Norton, Senator State Director Robert
Abbey, U.S. Senator Harry Reid, and U.S. Representative
Gibbons (addresses below). Tell them to stop the impoundment
of Western Shoshone horses and honor international treaty
obligations to the Western Shoshone Nation.
As President Bush prepares for war against Iraq for
supposedly violating international agreements, call
upon him to honor the international treaty agreement
between the U.S. government and the Western Shoshone
Following is a sample letter of support regarding
the current situation. Thank you for your support and
taking action in this time of crisis.
SAMPLE LETTER OF SUPPORT
Re: Call for Western Shoshone Land Talks
I stand in solidarity with Western Shoshone Grandmothers
Mary and Carrie Dann and the Western Shoshone Nation.
The Western Shoshone are in a crisis situation caused
by the actions of the federal government. I call upon
you to take whatever action you can to immediately stop
the impoundment of the horses owned by traditional Western
Shoshone grandmothers Mary and Carrie Dann and instead
enter into good faith negotiations with the Western
Last September, the federal government sent 40 armed
agents, ATVs, rented cowboys, and a helicopter and seized
over 200 head of cattle from Western Shoshone grandmothers
Mary and Carrie Dann. Now the State and federal government
are moving in and preparing to seize hundreds of Indian
horses belonging to these same grandmothers. Simultaneously,
the United States is also attempting to automatically
distribute monies set aside by the Indian Claims Commission
in a forced payment of approximately 15 cents an acre
for Western Shoshone land title. The pressures are mounting
and many Western Shoshone feel the end is coming, either
the end of a long fight with a successful resolution,
or the end of themselves as Western Shoshone people
and as caretakers of their mother earth.
On January 9, 2003 the Inter-American Commission on
Human Rights, Organization of American States, rendered
its final decision in the case of Western Shoshone land
rights in the favor of Mary and Carrie Dann. This international
body found the actions of the U.S. government to be
in violation of Western Shoshone rights to property,
to due process and to equality under law. The United
States was called upon to remedy the situation, either
legislatively or otherwise and to review its laws and
policy with regards to indigenous peoples and their
rights to property. Instead of seeking to find a just
and fair resolution of the Western Shoshone claims,
the United States has stepped up its threats against
[If this is a letter from your organization, please
enter organizational information here]
I ask you to act immediately to stop the impoundment
actions of the Western Shoshone horses and act honorably
in accordance with international law to commence good
faith negotiations with the Western Shoshone Nation.
Please help us to pull in as many voices as possible
perhaps then we can force the government's hand and
turn a terrible tragedy into a story that can be handed
down to future generations. We call upon the United
States to stop their present destructive actions and
to act honorably by immediately commencing good faith
negotiations with the Western Shoshone. We also call
upon individuals and organizations across this United
States and around the world to join in this struggle
and to stand strong alongside the Western Shoshone.
Letters of support should be sent
or e-mailed to:
February 5, 2003
For more information please contact
the Western Shoshone Defense Project at 775-468-0230
February 5, 2003 Western Shoshone grandmothers brace for
seizure of hundreds of Indian horses despite international
ruling finding U.S. actions illegal.
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
"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 heroines."
January 27, 2003
Western Shoshone Dann Sisters Evacuate Horses
Under Federal Attack
Only days after release ofthe Organization American States
(OAS) Inter-American Commission on Human Right final decision
that U.S. is in violation Western Shoshone rights to property
due process and equality under law face forced federal seizure
hundreds horses owned by grandmothers Mary and Carrie Dann.
Despite the call by the OAS to remedy the situation, the
United States has stepped up its threats against the Dann
sisters. In September, after the preliminary decision had
been released, the federal government came to the Dann area
with 40armed agents, ATVs, rented cowboys, a helicopter and
seized 227 head of cattle. Later these agents of the federal
government said they were coming back for the Western Shoshone
On January 6, 2003, we learned that the BLM was lining up
buyers for the Dann horses through the Nevada Department of
Agriculture that sent out a memo to non-profit horse rescue
organizations painting the picture that the horses were being
confiscated and would go to slaughterhouses, if not purchased.
"I said it before, these horses are in good condition
and healthy," said Carrie Dann. "The only thing
these horses need to be rescued from is the BLM: that's what
we're doing now."
The Western Shoshone Defense Project contacted the horse
rescue organizations to alert them to the fact that the horses
are not starving, nor wild or unclaimed: that they in fact
belong to the Western Shoshone. The wires have been buzzing
among horse rescue organizations about the ethics of purchasing
the Dann horses from the state. Several organizations came
forward to offer support to the Danns. One organization led
by a Missouri woman, Rainbow Farms, nominated Carrie Dann
for Oprah's, "Use Your Life award."
In response to the imminent danger, a major effort is under
way in Crescent Valley to safely round up and evacuate the
horses to a safe haven. The Western Shoshone National Council
(WSNC) announced on January 15th the creation of the Western
Shoshone International Goodwill Horse Program to facilitate
the horses passage to safety. The program is being initiated
by a donation of hundreds of horses owned by Carrie and Mary
Dann. The purpose of the program is to promote economic development
opportunities for Indian Nations through horse management
and gentling programs and to strengthen youth empowerment
The issue continues to be about title to the land. Concurrently,
the U.S. is attempting to distribute monies set aside by the
Indian Claims Commission in a forced payment of approximately
15 cents an acre for Western Shoshone land title.
The WSDP calls upon individuals and organizations to join
in this struggle alongside the Western Shoshone. Please support
the Western Shoshone Horse Defense Fund through a tax-free
donation to provide food and safe transport for the horses
that are being safeguarded. Write a letter to call upon the
U.S. to desist from the present actions and honorably commence
good faith negotiations with the Western Shoshone. To make
a donation, please send check or money order earmarked for
the Western Shoshone Horse Defense Fund to Seventh Generation
Fund, P.O. Box 4569, Arcata, CA 95521
For more information: Western Shoshone
Defense Project 775-468-0230 firstname.lastname@example.org
Seventh Generation Fund, www.7genfund.org
January 27, 2003
(Great Basin, January 30, 2003 —For Immediate
|Western Shoshone National Council
Indian Springs, NV 89018
Contact: Chief Yowell Tel: (775) 744-4381
|Western Shoshone Defense Project
Crescent Valley, NV 89121
Contact: Julie Fishel Tel: (775) 468-0230
The Western Shoshone Nation and the Black Hills Sioux Nation
Treaty Council formed an alliance to protect both nations
treaty lands from efforts by the US to consummate the US’s
forced claim to the land of both the Western Shoshone Nation
of the Great Basin and the Black Hills Sioux Nation. According
to Chief Raymond Yowell, leader of the Western Shoshone Nation’s
delegation, “The alliance between our two nations is a significant
event -- creating alliances between Native American nations
is a historic role played by Native American nations that
emanates from International Law.”
The meeting between the Western Shoshone Nation and the Black
Hills Sioux Nation Treaty Council took place in Rapid City,
South Dakota recently, focusing on the mutual concerns of
both nations in their opposition to the US Indian Claims Commission
created by the US in 1946 to award monetary compensation for
Native American lands taken by the US without tribal consent.
“The international personality of Native American people allows
this alliance. Violations of treaties -- International Law
and documented human rights violations by the US required
this alliance.” Stated Western Shoshone Nation, Secretary
of State, Ian Zabarte.
The Western Shoshone delegation meeting in South Dakota discussed
each nation’s concerns, vital interests and steps that each
nation will take to support the goals of the alliance. The
two nations formalized the alliance. Gold mining in the Great
Basin and the Black Hills adversely impact the spiritual,
cultural, social and economic interests of both nations. At
the end of their meeting the two nations agreed to protect
each other’s people against ongoing attempts by the US to
pay out the monetary awards. “We have never been alone in
resisting the forced claim to our land by the US.” Stated
Western Shoshone National Council Representative, John Wells
responding to the news.
WESTERN SHOSHONE DEFENSE PROJECT
Carrie Dann email@example.com
January 25, 2003
Update on Western Shoshone Horse Evacuation
The crisis continues...Current status is 300 horses in the
corrals with approximately 400 left to gather. Horse gathering
will continue through this weekend - weather permitting. The
BLM is currently expressing a desire to cooperate and to continue
to hold off on immediate impoundment actions.
Donations to help with the costs of getting the horses to
safety (unless the U.S. decides to recognize Western Shoshone
land rights before then) and to initiate the Western Shoshone
International Goodwill Horse Program can be made to the Seventh
Generation Fund - see www.7genfund.org
(specific information on the project available there or at
SHOSHONE DEFENSE PROJECT
Carrie Dann firstname.lastname@example.org
RE: Wild Horse Herd
The media coverage on this is really disturbing and very
dangerous. All over the country they are covering the story
as a "rescue" of wild horses. These horses are not
wild horses, they are Indian horses and are owned by Mary
and Carrie Dann. They are in good health and face no danger
except from the BLM. These are valuable Indian horses grazing
on even more valuable Indian lands. Please communicate with
the media outlets, make sure they have the full story.
National Geographic is especially troubling given their February
2003 article "Searching for Sacagawea" - with a
fold out picture of Indian horses and a quote by Meriwether
Lewis: "The circumstances of the Snake Indians possessing
large quantities of horses, is much in our favour, as by means
of horses, the transportation of our baggage will be rendered
easy and expeditious over land." The Snake Indians are
better known as the Shoshone Indians. The perfect - and accurate
- story that needs to be covered is how the Shoshone, specifically
Sacagawea, assisted non-Indians such as Lewis & Clark
with use of their horses as they made the trek across the
Rockies and now the federal government is trying to steal
those same Indian horses from the people who helped them and
agreed to share their lands with non-Indians.
let us know if you need additional information. (775) 468-0230
Looms for Nevada Wild Horse Herd http://news.nationalgeographic.com/news/2003/01/0113_030113_wildhorses.html
and here is the online news story: http://www.pnnonline.org/article.php?sid=4151&mode=thread&order=0&thold=0
weekend of January 17, 2003
ALERT -- Mass
Round Up Imminent This Weekend
We have received information that the BLM WILL be out in
full force to round up Dann horses on the weekend of January
17 -- this weekend. Please come to monitor the situation if
Things to DO:
1. Come out to Crescent Valley
to support Western Shoshone grandmothers Mary and Carrie.
They will need all the support they can get. We understand
there are anti-war protests this weekend -- what better way
to protest the war than stopping the war against the Western
2. The Good Horse people.
Contact the Wild Horse and Burro Alliance at www.savewildhorses.org
. They may be able to help stop the round up because of the
danger to the horses. The Round up is dangerous for the horses
in the mountains -- the BLM could wait until late summer.
Dangerous because of the pregnant mares, ice in the mountains
and the abusife techniques employed by the BLM when rounding
up. THe Alliance also has a coalition of organizations listed
on their website - contact all of them if you can.
3. The Confused Horse
people. Contact the organizations that think they are "rescuing"
the horses. We understand they care about the horses but there
are ways to ensure a safer rescue of the horses. (Thereby
saving even more horses.) The plan is to adopt the valley
horses from the Danns. The mountain horses cannot be brought
in at this time -- it's unsafe. They should lobby the BLM
and others (see below) to hold off on the roundup until late
summer when the Danns can bring them in - with buyers and
donees lined up. Please be polite to these folks. They, like
us, believe they are helping.
4. Contact the Governor of
the State of Nevada -- Kevin Quinn 775-684-5670 - the state
should not be helping the BLM and they should push to stop
5. Contact Secretary
of State Gale Norton -- 202-208-3100
6. Contact State BLM
Director Robert Abbey -- 775-861-6400.
7. Contact your local
media - they should be covering this.
8. Donate money for horse
feed and transportation for those horses we can get out before
the BLM gets here. (For tax deductible donations, those donations
should be made out to the Seventh Generation Fund - earmarked
for the Western Shoshone Horse Defense.) Address: P.O. Box
211308, Crescent Valley, NV 89821.
Please call with questions. 775-468-0230. Thank you for your
From: ED Reese email@example.com
Mon, 13 Jan 2003
Subject: [nonprofitrescue] Dann sisters
I've been contacted, as some of you have, by various
people claiming to represent the Dann sisters. I have explained
to them, as I have explained to the board countless times,
that my interest and the interests of this group is not in
the Dann sisters, the state of Nevada, the BLM, or the government.
My interest is completely and entirely in the welfare of these
horses. The Dann sisters have offered, if we will help pay
for the round up, the coggins, the health certificate, and
the brand inspection, to give us these horses. This will come
to more money than we will need to pay the state of Nevada.
We are not here to aid the Dann sisters in their dispute,
nor are we here to make the state of Nevada look like the
good guys. Everyone involved should have thought first and
foremost about the welfare of these horses.
Our job, and our position, is to take care of horses,
not the feelings of people. Those of you who have telephone
conversations with the Dann sisters' representatives are going
to be made to feel very guilty about what we are doing. The
Dann sisters have had 30 years to settle this with the government.
As to whose fault, or who is to blame for this problem, remains
to be seen. No one should feel guilty when their only concern
is for the welfare of the horses, rather than for themselves.
We have all worked extremely hard in securing that welfare.
It isn't a matter of our pride or our loyalty to the government,
or our desire to help one another that has brought this group
together. Many times the only thing that holds us together
is our beliefs that all horses should lead a safe, secure,
and happy life. That's the reason why you did what you have
done, and you should not have to make any excuses to anyone
for your thoughts or actions.
Thank you all!
WESTERN SHOSHONE DEFENSE PROJECT
For additional information call 775-468-0230.
Press Release For Immediate Release
January 15, 2003
United States Ignores Findings of Inter-American Commission
on Human Rights while Western Shoshone Horses begin Evacuation
Process aided by Traditional Shoshone Government.
January 15, 2003 Crescent Valley, NV. Only days after release
of the Inter American Commission on Human Right's Final Decision
in a landmark indigenous rights case finding the U.S. in violation
of Western Shoshone rights to property, to due process and
to equality under the law, the Western Shoshone face forced
federal seizure of hundreds of horses owned by grandmothers
Mary and Carrie Dann. In response to the imminent danger,
a major effort is currently under way in Crescent Valley to
safely round up and evacuate the horses to a safe haven. The
Western Shoshone National Council (WSNC) announced today the
creation of the Western Shoshone International Goodwill Horse
Program to facilitate the horses' passage to safety. The program
is being initiated by a donation of hundreds of horses owned
by Western Shoshone grandmothers Mary and Carrie Dann. The
horses are being moved to an undisclosed horse preserve for
safekeeping until the program is fully implemented. The purpose
of the program, developed from the WSNC's Horse Management
Proposal is to promote economic development opportunities
for Indian nations through horse management and gentling programs
and to strengthen youth empowerment activities.
The horses are now in the process of being rounded up and
immediately evacuated to an undisclosed preserve where they
can remain in their family groups and live on open range to
which they accustomed until it is safe to repatriate them
to Shoshone country or other Indian lands. The Danns will
retain a personal herd of 100 horses and those mares too pregnant
to safely make the journey to the preserve. The round up and
evacuation is expected to last several weeks. The Bureau of
Land Management and the State Department of Agriculture have
been informed of the effort to move the horses and are expected
not to hinder the safe and orderly relocation of the animals.
Helen Hankins, BLM Elko District, informed the Dann's attorney
today that the BLM supports a peaceful relocation of the horses
by the Shoshone and will not attempt to seize the horses at
least through the end of next week. Several horse rescue operations
have been working tirelessly to assist the Shoshone in bringing
these horses to safe haven before the pending federal attack.
Most notably, Rainbow Farms run by Becky Lloyd out of Missouri
and individual Jo Belasco from Texas have contributed immensely
to the effort.
"I said it before, these horses are in good condition
and healthy. The only thing these horses need to be rescued
from is the BLM. That's what we're doing now." Mary Dann
stated. Carrie Dann added: "The United States is terrorizing
us on our own lands. They took our cattle, now they are trying
to take our horses. What will they do next?"
"We are very pleased to assist the Dann's in this crisis.
The program will keep the horses safe and in Indian country.
Horses are important to our people. Every youth should have
the opportunity to work with horses to keep them sure footed
on their path in life." States Ian Zabarte, Western Shoshone
National Council. "It is unfortunate but we must remove
these horses, however given the immediate danger they currently
face both from imminent seizure by the United States and by
the effects of destructive land management by military and
civilian programs in Western Shoshone territory, we see no