Environment | Opinion

Opinion: Double standard in treatment of Shoshone sisters





Writer wonders why Carrie Dann and her late sister, Mary Dann, haven't received the same attention for their fight against the federal government.
A curious story has been playing out in Nevada for over 30 years. The Bureau of Land Management has been rounding up cattle grazing on public lands, selling them at auction and punishing the owners with millions of dollars in fees and trespassing fines.

This is not the story of recent frontier hero Cliven Bundy. It is the story of Carrie and Mary Dann, two members of the Shoshone Indian tribe. The Dann sisters have violated the same laws as Bundy, and the Bureau of Land Management has reacted with unsettling aggression, at one point arriving “heavily armed and fortified with helicopters.” And even though their battle with BLM stretches further back than Bundy’s, it has received little national press coverage. They have received approximately zero support from armed militia groups.

This is a shame, because their legal claim to the public land on which their cattle graze is far more legitimate than Bundy’s. The land in question is traditional Western Shoshone land, and their supporters argue that the Shoshone tribe never legally ceded these rangelands to the federal government.

This raises the question: Why, in all of the posturing and equivocating induced by the stand at Bundy Ranch, has there been no mention of the Dann sisters?

Get the Story:
Tarance Ray: Double-Standard Standoff (The Daily Yonder 4/20)

Other Views:
Evelyn Nieves: Never Mind Cliven Bundy: Here’s the Real David vs. Goliath Story Between Ranchers and Feds (Alternet 4/19)
Charles Tanner Jr: White, Far Right and Armed: Tea Party and Militias Mobilize to Defend Nevada County Supremacy Activist (Institute for Research and Education on Human Rights 4/17)