The following is a statement by the National Congress of American Indians in regards to a proposed rally by Cliven Bundy and his supporters:
Cliven Bundy’s group plans to ride roughshod through the Utah Canyon with a gang of all-terrain vehicles which would endanger places of cultural significance to Native peoples. Bundy thinks he is protecting his rights, but he is endangering the cultural integrity of the homelands of Native peoples.
Since well before the state of Nevada, the federal government, and farmers and ranchers occupied the area, tribal nations – including the Las Vegas Band of Paiute, Moapa Band of Paiute, and other tribes in the area – have respected and honored the Utah Canyon as a sacred place. Native peoples believe the canyon contains many markers from their ancestors. An action like this is no more appropriate than a similar activity at a church or other place of worship.
The NCAI strongly urges federal authorities to act – as part of its trust responsibility to tribal nations – to prevent this potential destruction of sacred places. We would oppose an action of this type not only by Mr. Bundy and his supporters, but by anyone with a disregard for Native peoples and cultures.