Statement of the Western Shoshone People
On Wednesday , July 02, 1997 the United States of America will commit an illegal act against the Western Shoshone People and their sovereignty by conducting a nuclear weapon test termed "SUBCRITICAL". The subcritical nuclear test uses less than the amount of plutonium necessary to obtain criticality, thus its term subcritical. This test conducted in the heart of Western Shoshone Territory at the Nevada Test Site operated by the United States and American subcontractors, violated the spirit and letter
of the international and domestic law under the terms of the 1863 Treaty of Ruby Valley. The United States of America is violating universally recognized human rights; the right to equal protection under the law and the the right to own property.
Ongoing nuclear testing only serves to further perpetuate an injustice against the Western Shoshone Nation and violate their territorial integrity. The Western Shoshone people are victims of the United States nuclear weapons testing program over the past 50 years. This result has been supported by recent findings of researchers at Clark University and the Childhood Cancer Research Institute which are conducting Nuclear Risk
Management for Native Communities projects which include Western Shoshone and Southern Paiute peoples. Western Shoshone people have been unjustly killed within their own territory by the United States.
"The United States of America has done something greviously wrong to the Western Shoshone and Southern Paiute peoples"
Against Subcritical Tests
Ian Zabarte, Assistant to Chief Yowell.
Nuclear technology is inextricably linked to nuclear weapons . The plutonium contained in the waste from nuclear reactors can be converted into nuclear weapons. If energy production was the only concern of nuclear technology, then science would be pursuing the safer nuclear fussion technology and set aside fission research. However, it is the very deadly nature of nuclear fission which maked it suitable for the
production of nuclear weapons, which, after all, is the original and enduring purpose of nuclear technology and Americas quest to perfect the ultimate weapon and make war obslete. The production of electrical power is a "coattails" inductry intended to justify and obscure the true purpose of the technology.
The Western Shoshone Nation and the United States od America in 1863 entered into a treaty based on international norms, which was ratified by the Western Shoshone Government (Chiefs, Principal Men, and Warriors) and the United States of America. A firmly understood relationship based on
"peace" and " friendship" was understood and established by the nations under the terms of the 1863 Treaty of Ruby Valley. The Western Shoshone people are distinct from others with a duly recognized territory, and self determined civil and political governing structures.
Article III of the Northwest Ordinance of July 13, 1787 part of the organic laws of the United States, declares that:
"the utmostgood faith shall always be observed toward the Indians; their lands and property shall never be taken from them without their consent; and in their property, rights and liberty they
shall never be invaded or disturbed, unless in just and lawful wars
authorized by Congress".
The Western Shoshone people have lived on their lands for thousands of years in keeping with their own laws and theology.
"The Western Shoshone Nation has the sovereign right to determine its own form of government and has done so in
North America for thousands of years until molested by the United States"
Chief Yowell, Western Shoshone National Council.
Western Shoshone sovereignty is based on the fundamental right
of a people to govern themselves and to manage their own affairs. These rights are recognized under international law and by the United States of America in its own constitution.
The United States congressional legislation in 1861 establishing the Territory of Nevada declares that:
"that the lands of the Indians constitute no part of the
Territory of Nevada without their consent and not be
included within such territorial limits or jurisdiction."
The 1863 Treaty of Ruby Valley is not a treaty of cession, meaning that the Western Shoshone Government did not cede their lands to the United States of America, as the record will bear true through historically known documentation records and legal title vested in the Western Shoshone Government.
"Manifest Destiny" the doctrine of the United States to expand its
territory over the whole of North America has failed to suppress Western Shoshone national sovereignty and private property rights. The Western Shoshone Nation of people would not willingly or knowingly freely consented to the giving, selling or cession of their territory to the United States or to be included in the Territory of Nevada or State of Nevada. The United States of America does not include any part or parcel within or belonging to Western Shoshone Territory. The territory and lands of the Western Shoshone Nation are not part of the United States of
America nor a part of the states of Nevada, California, Utah or Idaho, but a separate sovereignnation as recognized by treaty relations between the United States and the Western Shoshone Nation, emenating from international law.
The intents of the United States to comitt serious harm against the
Western Shoshone people and to violate international and domestic law bear a pattern and process. These patterns began with the initial assault into Western Shoshone Territory, prior to 1863, and subsequent illegal acts and the application of discriminatory laws intent upon degradation, destruction their lifeways. The United States has made criminal Western Shoshone livlihood including hunting, fishing. gathering and natural resource acquisition and development.
"What is at issue here is today, is the failure of the United States committment and high prechments to serve justice and protect human rights and the environment while it violates
liberties of the Western Shoshone Nation. The United States
must reverse its present position and muster the political will
to achieve justice for long standing Western Shoshone human rights violations and social, economic and cultural destruction and
Chief Yowell, Western Shoshone National Council
Proposition One Guide
Native American Rights