Oxfam/YouTube
Shoshone lands and the Dann sisters' battle for grazing rights.

Video: Dann Sisters' Battle to Save Their Cattle Is Stark Contrast to That of Cliven Bundy

ICTMN Staff
4/19/14

The federal government’s treatment of rancher Cliven Bundy, who has invoked land rights in his objection to paying grazing fees for his cattle, stands in stark contrast to what was done to the Dann sisters and other Indigenous Peoples on Shoshone territory when they did the same thing on lands that were unquestionably their own.

It was 1973 when the federal government first told Mary and Carrie Dann that they were “trespassing on public land,” sparking a protracted paper war that eventually reached the U.S. Supreme Court.

RELATED: Dann Sisters Hang Tough in Nevada

In contrast, the Bureau of Land Management’s attempt to round up 400 of Bundy’s cattle was met with resistance from armed so-called patriots, and the BLM ended up giving them back.

This Oxfam documentary takes us back in time to when the federal government dragged these grandmothers forcibly off the land that their ancestors had inhabited for millennia and sold their cattle to fund grazing fees, using the same laws that Bundy is now flaunting.

RELATED: How Did I Miss That? Militia: God Gave Land to Settlers, Not Shoshone

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rockymissouri's picture
rockymissouri
Submitted by rockymissouri on
The Dann sisters are honorable. If only our government had been....instead of disgraceful and obscene.

Pediowoman's picture
Pediowoman
Submitted by Pediowoman on
If Bundy and his constitution loving county commissioners and militia were any one or any other group than white, right winged, flag waving, bible quoting, NRA members, demanding THEIR rights be up held while totally ignoring everyone else they would be classified as terrorists. Had the Dann Sisters or any Indian today attempted or even spoke of getting together an armed militia to go against the Feds they would have been shot. Literally. Bundy brags about how he and his family have been ranching and grazing on the same land for over 150 years and he will not be run off HIS land. Well I just wonder how many Indians Bundy’s great granddaddy ran off that very same land and those that refused to leave he killed. In addition, Bundy might not like it but it is not HIS land it is Public Land that belongs to all of us. I am sure that generations of Bundy’s have killed plenty of annoying Indians that would not leave and killed ever predator from badger to bear they saw and now Bundy is ready to kill his fellow citizens. Wow what a guy. Cliven sounds like another famous Bundy that felt he had a right to kill who ever he wanted. Yes, Ted Bundy just might be proud of his “cousin”.

Colleen Lloyd
Colleen Lloyd
Submitted by Colleen Lloyd on
Wow, Pedio, make up random exaggerated unsupported baseless inflammatory rhetoric much? Wow, maybe fiction writing is your calling! Since the Treaty of Ruby Valley was signed because just like in this case, the government wanted to take over Shoshone land and exploit it for resources they needed to satisfy their international commercial interests and obligations, allowing settlers to set up "required" ranches, which were used among other things, to pay the treaty settlements of "cattle" with to the Shoshone, the chances of Bundy's ancestors who settled there murdering any natives are KINDA slim. Not this time. Nice wacked out stretch about "Ted Bundy" being proud of his "cousin." Congratulations, you've successfully derailed the rational convo into pure delusions which is highly effective when talking to government programmed slaves. But since I was there personally last weekend talking with a long-time friend of the Danns whose iphone is full of intimate family photos they have of their longtime close supportive relationship, who Channel 8 sought me out as a native advocate to round up so she could be interviewed to bring awareness to BOTH these issues and the similarities and differences between them, looks like people like us who actually get off our butts and go down there and take action is way more effective as a means of uniting settlers and natives and improving communication to benefit us all in our struggle for justice against a tyrannical international corporate terrorist elite who want this land once again for their profit.Since this article was written by the "staff," and just makes an opinionated unexamined unsupported allegation without even giving any background as to WHY the Bundy issue is in allegedly "stark contrast" to the Danns, it KINDA looks as if someone has an agenda to just paint the Bundys in a negative light without having much firsthand experience with the situation. Since we're just apparently about opinions here, that's mine. But if you want to actually examine the real issue here which is the lack of legitimacy and jurisdiction of the federal US government on Shoshone land and therefore their unlawful and hypocritical actions in trying to extort rent on land they never paid for and don't own, while Bundy has offered to pay fees to the state, which the Shoshone will never see anyway, that would be cool! We could even bring awareness, like we did all week, of the Shoshone's dispute over the stolen land (stolen by the GOVERNMENT, not the Bundys) to stop nuclear testing based on the same historical facts and principles the Bundys believe in and are standing for. Maybe we could unite native people and white and black and yellow against the enemy of unchecked greed and expansion instead of just dividing and conquering everyone again.

Steve Hampton's picture
Steve Hampton
Submitted by Steve Hampton on
it's the same old story on the range-- right-wing militias are examples of white privilege, expecting the feds to role over for them; see my blog comparing the Dann sisters with Cliven Bundy: http://memoriesofthepeople.wordpress.com/2014/04/21/range-wars-and-white-privilege/

chahta ohoyo's picture
chahta ohoyo
Submitted by chahta ohoyo on
O M G....cliven bundy is just another white man fool who believes he is totally entitled to land his 'pre-cedents' STOLE from our peoples...and 'public' land is BS...always has been....since when did we indns ever get together and decide that for the PUBLIC is the way to go with anything that is INHERENTLY ours??? I support the dann sisters 1000%...it aint easy to fight the U S GOVT...we been doing it so long...one step ahead and two steps back

Michael Madrid's picture
Michael Madrid
Submitted by Michael Madrid on
Really? ********************************************************************************************* Since this article was written by the "staff," and just makes an opinionated unexamined unsupported allegation without even giving any background as to WHY the Bundy issue is in allegedly "stark contrast" to the Danns, it KINDA looks as if someone has an agenda to just paint the Bundys in a negative light without having much firsthand experience with the situation. ******************************************************************************** This pretty shows much shows HOW this is in spark contrast. Of course it matters WHY this can happen, but you can't deny that only Bundy profits from the leniency of the government on his part. It was 1973 when the federal government first told Mary and Carrie Dann that they were “trespassing on public land,” sparking a protracted paper war that eventually reached the U.S. Supreme Court. RELATED: Dann Sisters Hang Tough in Nevada In contrast, the Bureau of Land Management’s attempt to round up 400 of Bundy’s cattle was met with resistance from armed so-called patriots, and the BLM ended up giving them back. This Oxfam documentary takes us back in time to when the federal government dragged these grandmothers forcibly off the land that their ancestors had inhabited for millennia and sold their cattle to fund grazing fees, using the same laws that Bundy is now flaunting. ****************************************************************** There are enough "land barons" here in New Mexico that I've already got a feel for what the Bundy's are like. How close am I? Rich White Christian Entitled Conservative Hate Obama and ain't none of his hard-earned money going to help those lazy Indians, Mexicans, . . . .

Michael Madrid's picture
Michael Madrid
Submitted by Michael Madrid on
FROM STEVE'S WEBSITE: So there are similarities between the Dann sisters and Bundy. Both were (or are) ranchers in Nevada claiming grazing rights to large sections of Nevada managed by BLM. Both refused to pay their grazing fees or to remove their livestock, and both cited events from the 1800s as the basis for their rights. Both fought their cases in federal court and lost. And both refused to remove their livestock. In both cases, the BLM arrived to round-up and confiscate their cattle. There are, of course, two obvious differences. First, the basis for their historic claims are not the same. The cases actually overlap, such that the rights of the Shoshone (based on the treaty in 1863) precede those of Bundy’s pioneering homesteaders (which are based on the creation of the state of Nevada a year later). If the treaty was enforced, both ranches could be protected under Shoshone authority (assuming the Shoshone approved of Bundy as a guest on their land). The second difference between the two cases is that Bundy chose armed resistance and, for now, has gotten away with it. ****************************8 There is the prime difference between the Dann sister and Bundy. The Dann sisters lost their cattle, Bundy did not. The Dann sisters accepted this fate peacefully, Bundy did not. The Dann sister have been punished without a trial, Bundy has not.

Pediowoman's picture
Pediowoman
Submitted by Pediowoman on
Hello Colleen, We are all allowed our opinions and we have agreed on many things in the past, but this issue is apparently not one of those times. Since I live right in the middle of Sagebrush Rebellion country I see and listen to the angry white decedents of generational ranchers on a regular basis and they are scary. Even so, I respect your beliefs and your support of the Bundy’s. I hope they appreciate your loyalty. Dixie Dringman

chett2cleve's picture
chett2cleve
Submitted by chett2cleve on
he Treaty of Peace and Friendship signed in 1863 between the U.S. government and Western Shoshone tribe included the use of 43,000 square miles of territory extending north from the deserts of Southern California, across much of Nevada, and into South central Idaho, and East into Utah. The treaty gave Shoshone permanent use of land in exchange for "peace," so that the [then] Union of the United States in the midst of Civil War, could guarantee the flow of gold out of California to points East. Shoshones agreed to end warfare with settlers and the U.S., and to allow transportation and telegraph wires through its territory. The U.S. government acknowledged, 115 years later, that they had further encroached upon Shoshone land through privatization, mining, and nuclear testing, and paid the tribe $26 million through trust, or 15 cents per acre. Today the amount is valued at $140 million (79 cents per acre), although the Western Shoshone have not withdrawn a penny. Shoshone say the 1863 treaty did not sell their land to a government, but instead secured their rights to own and occupy. About an hour southwest of Elko, NV, the Dann sisters live in a makeshift dwelling, shaded by trees, and powered by a gasoline generator. They have fought the government for 30 years, for land they say is theirs. Except, their ranch butts-up against a new wealth of gold deposit discovered at an ever expanding Cortez gold mine. Cortez splits its operation into three units; the Cortez open pit, and two independent Carlin-type disseminated gold deposit pipelines. The operation is owned by Placer Dome Inc., (60 percent) and Rio Tinto (40 percent). The U.S. government permitted gold mining at Cortez in 1969 with expansion plans still underway 24 years later. In 2003, more than 3 million ounces of gold will be produced from Cortez on Shoshone land. Until September 2002, when federal agents first seized 227 cattle from the Dann ranch, the Danns were raising cattle and horses on land purchased by their father Dewey Dann in the 1930s. In December 2002, the Danns were ordered to remove remaining livestock, 250 additional cattle and 1,000 horses, and they were charged with trespassing on public land. They were served with $3 million in fines for past due grazing fees. The Dann sisters, both of whom are in their 70s, did not transfer grazing permits into their name from their late father, Dewey Dann. They say that their land is within the boundaries of the Western Shoshone and therefore live under territory rule. The government says the land is now public and it was purchased from Western Shoshone in 1979.Until September 2002, when federal agents first seized 227 cattle from the Dann ranch, the Danns were raising cattle and horses on land purchased by their father Dewey Dann in the 1930s. In December 2002, the Danns were ordered to remove remaining livestock, 250 additional cattle and 1,000 horses, and they were charged with trespassing on public land. They were served with $3 million in fines for past due grazing fees. The Dann sisters, both of whom are in their 70s, did not transfer grazing permits into their name from their late father, Dewey Dann. They say that their land is within the boundaries of the Western Shoshone and therefore live under territory rule. The government says the land is now public and it was purchased from Western Shoshone in 1979. The Bureau of Land Management served the Danns warrants, and followed through with their warning to auction off remaining livestock in January 2003. The sisters sued the Bureau of Land Management to establish rightful ownership of land, and watched federal agents remove their cattle and horses on the morning of 18 January. The 9th Circuit Court of Appeals ruled that since the Danns received no money for their land, it was still theirs, but the ruling was overturned in the Supreme Court, using a "bar clause" which states that Indian Claims legislation denotes; whenever money is paid for land, its use and rights to use are forever barred. Shoshone land had been gradually encroached upon, according to the Supreme Court, and it therefore no longer belonged to the Dann Ranch. Carrie Dann says she wouldn't have sued the Bureau of Land Management had she known the court would favor the government. Bureau of Land Management says Dann livestock caused irreparable damage to the countryside due to over grazing. Dann claims overgrazing damage is nothing like the damage caused at the neighboring Cortez. Grass grows back, but mining causes irreparable damage to the earth, according to Carrie Dann.

wagonburner's picture
wagonburner
Submitted by wagonburner on
Below is a poem I wrote several years ago, about the treatment (by the U.S. Government) of us (Newe) Western Shoshone. Broken Treaty of Ruby Valley In the year eighteen hundred sixty-three a treaty was written for two nations to agree. It recognizes the land is the Shoshone's today, and still the U.S. Government is trying to take it away. They treated the Shoshone with such pogrom and erected a place to test their big bomb. Now they want to make it a nuclear waste site, do they know they're in for one hell of a fight? They have hired armed guards, and won't let us near it. They have taken the mountain, but they won't take our spirit. They keep on killing the coyote and deer and that's what the Newe Sogbia does fear. They have already silenced the birds of their sounds, and they even dug up our burial grounds. They say we can't farm or graze our cattle. When we uphold our rights, all we get is a battle. Gradual encroachment, or some kind of bribe? Mother Earth is not for sale, not by this tribe. Each Shoshone person is taught from birth to have great respect for our Mother Earth. We used to hunt, gather berries, and pick nuts from the trees, there was a time when we could come and go as we please. We pray that one day they will come to their senses, get rid of their guards and take down their fences. So, today the native language is often spoken about the treaty of Ruby that has been broken. Kevan Gillette

Ralph Kitchens
Ralph Kitchens
Submitted by Ralph Kitchens on
The BLM has been using same tactics to grab land. Slowly encroach on the land until they have it all. They don't care if you own it or not and don't follow their own laws. US has the rangeland improvement act signed into law in 1978 and an executive order by president Reagan. Basically the law say how much to charge for grazing fees and that they are suppose manage the lands and make feasible improvements but they just ignore that part of the law yet they still think they are entitled to the fees. It says in US Constitution that any land acquired in a treaty government has the power to regulate the land but goes on the say congress can appropriate it the state or dispose of. To me it seems like US government has overstepped its claim to land its not suppose have. I also don't think US has any authority make claims or regulations on any Indian Nation. I don't understand how they can say a person is trespassing on public land either.

Sandy M's picture
Sandy M
Submitted by Sandy M on
Colleen assumes we are a bunch of quick to judge, uneducated, government sponsored population. To make the judgment that Bundy is some sort of maverick Hero and to link it with the honor of Mary (RIP) and Carrie’s fight is insulting. Many of us are connected to the Dann family and the Western Shoshone families. Many of us were fighting these battle decades before you were born. Just as you chastise Pediowoman for her assumptions. You make conjecture also. We do not need your version of the "truth". Most of the Indian people who were raised on their Tribal lands completely understand the BLM, BIA, Forestry, ATF, FBI, etc., in ways the average citizen will never know. Whatever Mr. Bundy thinks or says (Blacks were better off Slaves? Eh?) I do not care of his fight. The outrage is the governments handling of the two situations. Like many others have stated, if a armed militia showed up, ready to fight the BLM when they came for the Dann's animals it would have ended dramatically different. That is the issue.
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