Washington, D.C. – Today, U.S. Senator Catherine Cortez Masto (D-Nev.) released a new video with representatives from the Duckwater Shoshone Tribe, the Ely Shoshone Tribe, and the Confederated Tribes of the Goshute calling for the creation of the Bahsahwahbee National Monument in Eastern Nevada where nearly 1,000 indigenous Newe ancestors were killed during three 19th-century religious gatherings that turned into massacres. In the video, Tribal leaders discuss the urgent need to preserve this sacred area and the “Swamp Cedars,” an ecologically-unique grove of juniper trees, where Tribes in Nevada still gather to honor their culture and history.
“I’m fighting alongside Tribes in Nevada to protect this sacred site and create a living tribute to their ancestors who were killed during these massacres,” said Senator Cortez Masto. “Creating the Bahsahwahbee National Monument will ensure we honor their memory and preserve this sacred place and the history of what happened there for generations to come.”
“This is a very significant culture site to the Western Shoshone People,” said Duckwater Shoshone Tribe Chairman Warren Graham. “It’s important for us to protect these areas because, for the Native American people to not only educate our youth, but also educate the general public about what truly happened here and why it is significant to the Native American people.”
“A number of our ancestors were massacred in this area in three separate massacres…during that timeframe. Our belief, because everyone was killed and they were all left in the forest, is that the spirit of our people are still in those trees,” said Rick and Delaine Spilsbury from the Ely Shoshone Tribe.
Senator Cortez Masto is leading efforts to designate Bahsahwahbee as a National Monument. This summer, she visited the proposed site and she has personally called on Secretary of the Interior Deb Haaland and the Biden administration to support its creation.
A member of the Senate Committee on Energy and Natural Resources, as well as the Senate Committee on Indian Affairs, Senator Cortez Masto is a strong voice for the Tribal Nations in Nevada. She recently celebrated the designation of the Avi Kwa Ame National Monument after working with the Nevada congressional delegation to push for the designation.