Support RED

Response to Occupation of Malheur National Wildlife Headquarters

Our organization, Red Earth Descendants, has been asked to voice a response to the recent militant occupation of the Wildlife Refuge in Malheur County in northeast Oregon. Since the occupation is potentially volatile and full of political agendas from many entities, R.E.D. has not issued a statement until now, due to the respect we pay to our tribal elders. R.E.D. itself is not a political organization; yet, we understand that there are times when politics intersect with land rights, which in turn intersects with cultural identity and survival. Click "Read More" below.

As with any land use issue, we defer to our elders and the tribal people of that land. That is to say--we defer to the Original First Nations People who stewarded the land for centuries before the onset of "land ownership" on this continent. In this case, the Burns Paiute Tribe has issued a statement about the current occupation:

"The Burns Paiute Tribe has denounced the occupation of the Malheur National Wildlife Headquarters.

Tribal council members said Wednesday the militants are desecrating sacred traditional property and need to leave. The 190,000 acre wildlife refuge is within the Paiute tribes’ ancestral territory in Southeast Oregon.

'Armed protesters don’t belong here. By their actions, they are endangering one of our sacred sites,' said tribal Chair Charlotte Rodrique."

Paiute Tribe Denounces Malheur Refuge Occupation . News | OPB

Red Earth Descendants officially stands behind the tribal inhabitants of this land, the Paiute People. We urge activists to take the time to inquire with the Paiute Tribal Council for guidance. If we stand behind tribal land rights, we are standing in solidarity for all the right reasons. First Nations People should always be considered first before calls to action are made.

Thank you for remembering that these lands are first and foremost belonging to the indigenous people. Those of us who share the bounty and resources of such lands are responsible for knowing and respecting this truth.

In Honor of Treaty Rights and Indigenous Land Rights,

Red Earth Descendants, January 24, 2016