Western Shoshone Defense Project

Newe Sogobia is the Western Shoshone land base that spans 60 million acres in Southern Idaho, Eastern/Central Nevada and Death Valley, California.



To affirm Newe (Western Shoshone) jurisdiction within Newe Sogobia (Western Shoshone homelands) by protecting, preserving, and restoring Newe rights and lands for present and future generations based on Newe cultural and spiritual traditions.

The WSDP is an affiliate of the Seventh Generation Fund, a 501 (c) 3 non-profit organization The WSDP is an affiliate of the
Seventh Generation Fund, a

501c3 non-profit organization dedicated to promoting and maintaining the uniqueness of Native Peoples and Nations.

The Western Shoshone Defense Project (WSDP) was established in 1992 by the Western Shoshone National Council to provide support to Mary and Carrie Dann, Western Shoshone grandmothers, faced with the confiscation of their livestock which they graze on Western Shoshone homelands. While we started off as an organization of volunteers, with the support of thousands of individuals and foundations, we have grown into an organization with paid staff and three programs.

Since the 1950s, the U.S. government has used Western Shoshone lands to test hundreds of nuclear weapons, to dispose of thousands of metric tons of radioactive waste, and has spent billions of dollars to study Yucca Mountain as a national dump site for the deadly waste product of the nuclear industry.

In addition, modern corporate gold mining is gauging the heart of Western Shoshone homelands. Newe Sogobia ranks second in world gold production behind South Africa. Using a method that involves grinding up whole mountains to extract minute particles of gold, this heap leach gold mining is causing tremendous impacts to the Western Shoshone, including: spiritual and economic dislocation, the destruction of Newe cultural sites, and the desecration of land and water.

As an indigenous grassroots organization, we are taking the lead to educate and organize for the protection of Newe Sogobia by defending Newe rights. We are guided by Western Shoshone traditional and tribal leaders, a Newe advisory board, and the Western Shoshone National Council, the traditional Western Shoshone government.


Cultural Program defends Newe Sogobia and culture tied to the land through hosting events in the communities and on the land to share traditional knowledge.

Community Organizing

Training and Tools in Newe Communities

Field Trips & Cultural Mapping

Mining & Environment Program ensures the long-term health of Newe Sogobia


Public participation & Direct Action

Legal Strategies

Land Recognition Program promotes Newe jurisdiction within Newe Sogobia and reform of U.S. Indian law and policy.

International Human Rights Advocacy

Corporate Engagement

Outreach & Education

Western Shoshone Defense Project
P.O. Box 211308
Crescent Valley, NV 89821

(775) 468-0230 Phone
(775) 468-0237 Fax

Website: www.wsdp.org
Email: wsdp@igc.org

History of Newe Rights

Western Shoshone homeland, Newe Sogobia, has never been for sale! In the 1863 Treaty of Ruby Valley with the U.S., Western Shoshone (Newe) leaders agreed to settle into a lifestyle of ranching and allow non-Indians to pass through their territory; but did not cede lands.

Over a hundred years later, following the discovery of microscopic gold in Newe Sogobia, the U.S. charged Newe ranchers, Carrie and Mary Dann, with "trespass". The issue went to the Supreme Court which ruled the Western Shoshone lost the land when the Interior Department, acting as their "trustee," had accepted money.

In 1979, the Indian Claims Commission (ICC) paid the Interior 15 cents an acre for Western Shoshone lands they said were taken by "gradual encroachment," a method of taking which has never been found to be legal.

U.S. Indian law and policy is based on the racist Columbus-era "Doctrine of Discovery", which declared Indians did not have the same rights as Europeans. To this day, the U.S. government has prevented Newe from arguing their title in the U.S. courts. The ICC decision was found in 2003 to be illegal by the Organization of American States (OAS); but the U.S. has refused to respond to the concerns of the OAS and continues to use illegal means to claim title to Newe lands.

an affiliate of the
Seventh Generation Fund

P.O. Box 4569
Arcata, Ca 95518
707-825-7640 Phone
707-825-7639 Fax


WSDP Advisory Board

Mary McCloud, Battle Mountain

Joe Kennedy, Timbisha

Maurice Frank, Yomba

Mary Gibson, Elko

Jack Mallotte, Duckwater

Sally Marques, Ely


WSDP Staff

Carrie Dann, Executive Director

Larson Bill, Community Organizer

M. Lee Dazey, Development Coordinator

Julie Ann Fishel, Land Recognition Program

Annine Smith, Administrative Assistant

What can you do?

The WSDP is entirely funded by foundations, individual contributions, and events.

Become a supporter and receive

Newe Newsletter
T shirt
electronic updates & action alerts.

Spread the word
Distribute our publications.
Organize video showings, speaking engagements, and benefits in your area.

Become a Land Defender
Go to the website listed below and fill out a Land Defender Form.

Your help is needed and greatly appreciated!

Western Shoshone Defense Project

P.O. Box 211308
Crescent Valley, NV 89821
(775) 468-0230 Phone
(775) 468-0237 Fax

Website: www.wsdp.org
Email: wsdp@igc.org

Reno Office
1675 The Strand
Reno, NV 89503
(775) 324-3592

The Western Shoshone Defense Project needs your support

Please print out and send to us at: Western Shoshone Defense Project,
P.O. Box 211308, Crescent Valley, NV 89821.


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Fighting Terrorism Since 1492

Please make check or money order payable to: Seventh Generation Fund/WSDP
All gifts are tax-deductable. Contributers receive the WSDP "Newe Newsletter."
Gifts of $100 or more receive a WSDP T-Shirt, Homeland Security: "Fighting Terrorism Since 1492"