01-09-2007, 10:40 PM #1
Tribe Keeps Fighting for Treaty Rights
LAS VEGAS (AP) -- The way Allen Moss sees it, vast stretches of the West and all of their wealth belong to the Indians.
And despite being turned back in lawsuit after lawsuit for decades, the Western Shoshone leader says he won't rest until the U.S. government honors a 19th-century treaty that, according to the tribe, entitles it to reclaim ancestral lands extending from California through Nevada and Utah to Idaho.
The lands include much of the Las Vegas area. The Shoshones say they are not interested in Sin City - too many people, too many problems. But they want the rugged desert hills that have yielded tens billions of dollars worth of gold over decades.
At issue is the 1863 Treaty of Ruby Valley, which the Shoshone say gave the tribe - not the federal government - royalties and final say over water, mineral and property rights for land covering 93,750 square miles, an area roughly the size of Maine.