tv Lectures in History CSPAN October 11, 2015 12:00pm-1:24pm EDT
, in the fields down way, we have corns, being, and squash. influence fromn the old world. it was an influence from the american indians. they were grown in all of the same mounds. the corn, beans, and squash grew together. >> this is the first of a two-part series on the frontier culture museum. part two explores life on the early american frontier. you can watch this and other american artifacts programs anytime i visiting our website at c-span.org/hi >> established under the indian plains asked by united states congress, the indian claims commission was a judicial panel meant to resolve many long-standing claims between the u.s. government and native american tribes. next, the university of utah professor, gregory smoak, talks about the founding of the commission and the modern repercussions of some decisions.
his class is about one hour, 15 minutes. mr. smoak: i guess we should go ahead and get started. quick announcement, just so you are aware of where we are at, tuesday next week we will have the final quiz. i am sure you are happy about that. so please be ready for that at the beginning of class. today, what i want to do is talk about the indian claims commission as a means of continuing our discussion, the mid-20th century, the indian claims commission is something that is often not -- people don't spend a lot of time on. i think it is important. it certainly point out the link between the resources and land, the controlled resources and
land and tribal sovereignty. it also illustrates very clearly the limitations on tribal sovereignty that the federal government puts in place, legislation that might seem to empower indian people, but also has real limitations on. and then we will spend time today talking about one particular claim, the most controversial one, it lasted half a century. that claim in particular illustrates how native conceptions of political power and control of territory, ownership of property, are fundamentally different from european and euro american conceptions and that poses obstacles to travel sovereignty, certainly -- tribal sovereignty, certainly in the land. we will start with background information, talk about the
indian claims commission in general and claims process and how that worked and move into and in-depth look at a particular claim. let's go ahead. now the indian claims commission is going to be signed into law in -- come of it was not the first time that claims were made against the united states. they were first heard in 1831 by the supreme court. other mechanisms existed in the u.s. for claims against the government, tribes are not the only groups seeking redress -- regress. individual citizens did. before 1855, claims followed a particular process, individual
acts of congress. before we start talking about those private hills, one thing to keep in mind, the idea of sovereign immunity. the united states and others subscribe to this doctrine, boiling it down, you do not get to sue the sovereign unless the sovereign says you do. you cannot sue the united states unless the united states gives you permission. that is the basis. before 1855, individuals who had a claim against the government over a contract, over whatever, could seek regress, but they had to do it directly through congress, getting them to propose a bill. and you see them filling the congressional record. and it is for that reason in 1855 that congress created the
court of claims. it was envisioned to deal with all of these and to relieve burdens from congress. at first, they are simply an advisory board, they can only tell congress what should happen. but in 1863, a second piece of legislation gave the court of claims the power to make final determinations and decisions. for much of history, the court of claims that in that building across from the white house, today it is the smithsonian gallery. you might have seen it. ok, now native access to the court, native tribes might have thought this was an avenue to pursue the government further wrongs. and they tried. but in 1863, that these of
legislation gave the court -- that piece of legislation that gave the court this responsibly, also said that foreign nations and indian tribes were excluded. so they were left out, just like that. it remains like that for some time. the shift starts to occur during the reason malaysian era, one of and one oftion era, the most important times, a case that we looked at -- and they were hoping to remain in their homeland, a celebrity cause among reformers. the test case of crook was also important in claims, because this case, even though it decides that indians are not citizens, they are persons of a particular protection under the law.
at the same time, these reformers are arguing that indians needed to be made subject to united states law, we need to set aside traditional norms of government and replace them with civilized forms. so it did not make sense for reformers that indians should be barred. so in 1881, congress for the first time granted a tribe, the choctaws, a right to bring a court -- a claim before the court. that is the way it would remain for the next 65 years, up until 1946. each individual suits brought before the court by natives had to have a special piece of enabling legislation to make that happen. once you got there, your chances of winning are not good. of the 134 cases heard by the court in this time, native people only one 28.
choctaws did when that first claim. they are often dismissed on very near a technical grounds, mostly grounds that relate to the enabling legislation itself. an example from a 1942 case, northwestern shoshone's, it was thrown out because they said that the enabling legislation said that they could be compensated for land that was held by treaty, but they did not hold them by treaty, they had them before that, therefore the case is gone. so there are these technicalities, cases get thrown out. once you win a case, if you are one of those 28 groups, then your cash that you get from the government is severely reduced
by offsets. offsets are gratuitous expenditures of the government and what that means is it is an expense the government made on behalf of these people, on a group, that is not stipulated in the treaty. what are those costs? if you were removed from your homeland and forced to go somewhere else, that could be a gratuity. you get to pay the cost of your own removal. of these cases, the cash awards are reduced by an average of 2%. -- 60%. in some cases, it is egregious. from over $6 million to $622,000. the offsets reduce the actual cash. and so, this is the situation that they are in.
i the number of cases increases radically in the 1920's, this is in part related to the native service in world war i and feelings about native people, 1920's, native veterans become citizens, and later a citizenship act makes them all citizens of the u.s. and there is a flurry of enabling acts in congress. between 1924-1927, 38 claims are filed, that is about the same number that had been filed since 1881. so a flurry of claims. what it leads to is a call for a special commission, a special indian claims commission to handle these. the idea actually goes back to 1910, the commission of indian affairs, but it is in the 1920's that more people call for it and it is also time of the report we talked about last time, miriam report. -- meriam report.
so that is the background. where does the commission come from? any questions? ok, where does the commission come from? the origins should be understood in this previous claims history, but also in the fluctuations in federal policy in the 20th century. the 1930's saw a major shift in policy, the new deal, the end of the assimilation policy, the allotment. this is why congress will hold numerous hearings on indian claims and the idea of an independent commission. four times between 1930-1940, they hold special hearings on indian claims commission. now the claims commission was
something that john callier considered for the reorganization act, but it was rejected, because he thought it would overburden the act which was already complicated. and claims were controversial, one of the key sponsors of the indian reorganization act was wheeler, it is called the wheeler howard act. burden k wheeler was very suspicious of attorneys and he expressed his belief that it was claims attorneys driving this process, trying to take their cut. so callier is not going to include in the reorganization act. the shift comes after world war ii and post callier. in 1945, 1940 they hold their final hearings on the indian claims commission idea. a key witness, this man.
ernest wilkinson, a claims attorney who was the chief partner and a very powerful washington based law firm that tells mostly with indian law and specifically with indian claims. he testified in 1945 before these hearings. he railed against the narrow decision of the court of claims, specifically that of the northwestern band shoshone's, an attorney on that case. he testified he had lost, he had spent seven years and $12,000 of his own money, that he lost. so he is going to argue for a claims commission that is empowered to make final decisions.
he also suggests that lawyers'fees should be bumped up, but that does not happen, he remains at a maximum of 10%. and the final act, the indian claims commission act will come out of the set of hearings and in 1946, in august, it will be passed by congress and signed into law by harry truman. ok, so what is in the act? the indian claims commission act empowered -- allowed tribes or any identifiable group, residing within the territorial limits of the united states or alaska to bring a claim before the commission. it created a three-person commission. in practice, the commission acted like a court.
what i mean, it had adversarial proceedings. a tribe hired councils, who hired attorneys, no tribe pursued a claim on its own. they also hired expert witnesses. the act set up a very tight time frame, which did not work out the way they thought it would. the filing part did, they had five years to file claims. the deadline for filing was august 13, 1951. then theoretically, the claims would it be decided in the next five years. so the commission is only supposed to last from 1946 until 1956. that is not the way it works out. it lasts until 1978. that is a long time, 1978. by that time it has heard 370
dockets, divided into sub dockets and decided 550 of them. what was left over when back to the court -- went back to the court of claims. this bill receives bipartisan support in congress. it can be conceived of by those who are pro-indian and pro-sovereignty as justice, paying off a debt. this is also viewed by conservative forces as people who want to get a return on an assimilation policy, that they view it as, well we finally paid them, now we can end the federal government relationship with tribes. so it sort of premises that extermination policy. it is not listed as part of termination, but it plays into it.
paying off debt, now we can move on. support from both sides. i know this is technical stuff. student: who served on the commission? mr. smoak: individuals appointed over the years, it was not able commission -- stable commission. probably 20-30 different people. three at a time. and they are often attorneys or government officials. ok. the process, let's talk about the general process and how it is, in a couple important ways, it is important to native understandings and property ownership.
for some native people, they welcomed the claims process. it was in flow of cash, but for others it seems a violation of their way of life. every claim will go through three phases. title, value liability, and then the offsets. i am not going to say much time on the offsets. under the act, the offsets were not completely defined, but much better defined than other claims cases. there are a range where some were excluded, you could not count the cost of removing somebody in these offsets. so they are far lower, on average, maybe 2%. in some cases more.
we will not spend much time talking about that. i want to focus on these first two. title and thought you liability. and this is one of the crucial factors of the operation of the commission. no land would be returned. this is not about acknowledging title or returning land, it is about a monetary settlement. that is going to shape the process. the first phase any tribe will have to enter into is the title phase. once the claim is filed, it goes to the title phase. in this phase, the tribe isn't burdened with proving that is -- is burdened with proving a definable area. now, this is not a native
concept. native people did have ideas about property, about land, about who could possess the land as a group, but the idea of elusive use or occupancy was not a common idea. this is a european idea. this is really the idea that is related to abstract ownership. at times the commission did recognize that views very, but in general it will come down to exclusive use and occupancy. this is an obstacle to tribes. employees -- attorneys will employ expert witnesses. i have a journal of history there. this society emerges. this is a combination of anthropology and history, using culture and the understanding of
another people's culture to interpret historical documents, this idea emerges directly from the work of the indian claims commission. anthropologists and historians working together to prove claims. unfortunately, the problem with titles is that there is a conflict of interest. the fact that these were not need of terms, it is meant -- not native terms it is meant , claims attorneys cannot go after claims were multiple groups used that area, they saw that as a losing proposition. even more importantly, there is absolutely no incentive to claim that those native titles exist, kissing can only collect -- because he can only collect the fee when it is accepted that it is gone. does that make sense? there is a competition interest.
-- conflict of interest. so this comes from the final report of the claims commission, this map, in 1978. all areas not shaded are places where there is no claim certified, nobody got paid. did people live there, yes. concrete example, this area around the boise valley. serious tribes used that area, but those involved are steered away from making a claim their, because it was maybe a losing proposition of joint use. it would prevent settlement and attorneys are not going to spend time and money pursuing claims they don't think will win. ok, then we go into the value liability phase. this is where we determine how
much money a tribe get from the claim settlement. values are going to be determined on fair market value at the time of taking. not today. these settlements -- is the commission is hearing this in 1957, they are not going to look for value at 1957 prices, they will look at which the point the land was taken. in many cases there is a definable moment. in the case i will talk about in a moment, 1877, the treaty that follows the civil war when it is a definable point, that land will be valued. what happens after title phase
is that attorneys hire expert appraisers and go out and use resources and they make what the supreme court in another case called, and informed -- and informed guess. that is on how much it was worth. there is no adjustment for lost profits or inflation and no interest. we will talk about ballooning settlement and that interest comes after the final determination from the claims commission. so we will get a very straightforward payment. the emphasis is cash only, no returnable land. that is the big rub, that is the sticking point for so many tribes.
they want the land back. one of the most famous cases was still an ongoing case, the lakota's, the black hills, and -- these were sigrid, these were made part of the great sioux reservation. that created great sioux reservation made up of essentially all of south dakota and some north dakota, including the black hills. in the wake of 1876 and 1877, an agreement is forced on the lakota people and the black hills are gone. this is something that was traumatic for the lakota people. in 1972, the indian claims commission decided the government old the lakota's -- old -- owed that tribe or the taking of land.
that land had the most productive gold mines, but that is not playing into it. in 1979, the court of claims upheld a ruling and added interest, that brought the reward to $106 million. the lakota tribes refused to take the money, of until today -- even today, they refuse to take the money coming even though there are people who say the land is not coming back, we need to take the settlement. due to interest as this is untouched in the treasury, the settlement is now $1 billion that the combined tribes have not taken.
as you can imagine, that is a lot of money and that can eat away at people's resolve, it can change lives, tribal existence. there seems to be, who knows, how long this could last or whether they will continue to resist taking the settlement. for now, that is where you stand in -- stands. the general operations of the indian claims commission, any questions? what i want to do for the remainder of our time, for the next 55 minutes, focus on one claim in particular, i think that in doing this we can really get at those differences between political understanding and property ownership and the way in which the system was set up that disadvantages certain segments of the community and puts control in the hands of
others. the western shoshone land claims among one of the longest battles, one of the most famous. it becomes a celebrity cause, documentary films are made about it in the 1970's and most recently in 2006, focusing on it. for narrated -- robert redford narrated a couple of them. the basis of this is the treaty of ruby valley. and we will talk about the shoshone homeland. this is how the native people would say it, newe sogobia. they had a word in other language that sounds similar, it sounds like the people. for our purpose, what i want to focus on are these intertwined concepts in the native political order, about authority and land ownership.
who talks to the people and for whom and how do you possess a land? there is this -- you often hear that native people have no concept of have her property, that is not true. in terms of land as property, ownership of the land really is inherent in the people, in the group. all shoshone people shared a sense of a larger homeland. right? this concept of western shoshone homeland. now, but not all of them lived
in one or traveled throughout the area, they were not everywhere. so in each case you have smaller groups that have their own smaller homeland, places where the generally range. for those people, the right to the resources of the land were unfettered. they could use anything that was there, but if they do not use it -- but they did not use it and take it from other shoshone people. the political leaders, also known as talkers, they basically negotiate access. because the basin is a harsh place, people move around seasonably. sometimes they will harvest nuts, but these are not uniform year-to-year, so sharing and mobility are part of the survival strategy. this is not just apply to shoshone, it applies to other people's as well. so other people came in and they
negotiated sharing, so you need to go to their land at times. so there is a sense of a larger shared homeland, but also a sense of smaller groups. so there is absolutely no head chief. that is what americans want and if they try to create it, they try to recognize individuals, they think they can work with head cheese, but leaders -- chiefs, but leaders tell the negotiators, i do not speak for everyone. i cannot speak for everyone. this is not hidden from the treaty negotiators. so that gives us the treaty, ruby valley. i mentioned this before, certainly in the context of the
duty treaties -- dodie treaties. this relates to utah territory. and in the wake of a massacre, dodie negotiated treaties with shoshone people. in his letter to the president, he described shoshone people as sharing land and he also understood he needed to make different treaties for the different groups. five different treaties. one of them come a ruby valley. this is the map that was sent to washington that showed this huge swath, stretching from nevada into wyoming. pretty well known distort map. -- a pretty well known historic
map. so dodie is there. , and for the western shoshone, they have a leader called team -- timoke. he is the principal shoshone spokesman and he is acting as a traditional leader. now, with the treaty does is it provides access to shoshone country, it is not feed any land. and it provides $5,000 a year for 20 years for the loss, an annuity payment. again, there is no land session specified. so let's look at two provisions, the critical ones. first of all, article five -- it spells out territory.
and it basically stretches from the shoshone river valley, the snake river valley, and south to the area of death valley and southern california. and from the west, today what is the desatoya range to the -- a wide territory. this is 22 million acres are so of land. a huge area of territory. now, again it is not seated. article four of the treaty is the one that made provisions for white settlement, or use of the land. it says it is further agreed by
the parties, that the shoshone country may be explored and protected for gold and silver and when mines are discovered, they may be worked, and mining and agricultural settlements form, and ranges established whenever they may be required. think about that. think about how a traditional shoshone leader would interpret that, if negotiating resources, this strategy of sharing for survival is traditional, would you interpret that as giving your land away, or would it be traditional for you? the shoshone's do not see this as a treaty of secession, nowhere in it is shoshone territory ceded. despite allowing white settlement, there is no session.
from this point on, the western shoshone's will not be at war with the united states. it means the two prince bull -- principal methods, from the colonial home time into the 20th century where indian title is extinguished, do not apply in this case. the just war of conquest and a legal session, neither case do they lose their land for those reasons, which seem to be the only two. but the indian claims commission will claim another reason of losing their land. questions? now, what i want to do is talk about the time between the treaty of ruby valley in 1863 and the claims commission in
1946. again, going back to what we talked about. the basin in california is a counterexample to most people's idea of how the conquest in america took place at the hands of the federal government. we know that the great basin in california, the conquest took place at the hands of local power. the federal government wind out -- step out of the way and let whether it is the mormon church in utah, the policy tends to be local. so reservations are few and far between. reservations in the great basin are few and far between, on the margins, there is the snake river plains.
two larger reservations out here, pyramid lake emma walker -- and walker river. those are established in 1859. right when there is a rush, they are flooded in. but then you do not get another reservation for the next 18 years, and that could be found for western shoshone's, right up here, duck valley. federal officials would view this reservation, founded in 1877, as a place to concentrate all shoshone groups, regardless of where they were from. this was the idea of consolidation that was popular in the indian claims commission. most of all, it would be more economical, then having all of these scattered reservations. the groups that lived closest to the area and some that were displaced, did go there.
most were from the western shoshone bands, from northern nevada. that is where they go. most shoshone's refused to go, they would not go. they do not go to duck valley. they remained on their homeland, hundreds of miles away. as a result, around the turn of the 20th century, a dozen or so more were created in the great basin. this parallels the rancherias, small groups of people that refused to leave where they had always lived and the federal government coming very late well-established reservations. this includes fort mcdermid, fallon, both are shared. within the western shoshone
territory, another territory, duck water, south fork, 1941. so those are within the western shoshone territory. there are other types of land ownership for land tenure that the western shoshone people top four at this time. one of the most important, the indian colonies, kind of ironic. indians colonized. this is a product of colonization. the indians are establishing these colonies. they are established in many towns in nevada, the idea of an indian calling it that phrase is specific to nevada, just like rancheria is specific to california.
western church people do not want to leave homelands, they were seeking jobs, often congregating on the outskirts of these towns, and they were creating colonies. some of them were interethnic. there is a colony that is multiethnic with shoshone's and washoe people. now many of these will gain federal recognition in the early 20th century. fallon, reno sparks, they got federally recognized in 1917. elco in 1918. another in 1931. the last one was at the well shoshone calling in eastern nevada, in 1977. then, during the reorganization act time, several of these forms governments. that is what we want to get to.
the most important of those was the temoke bands. they were headquartered in nevada and they become the only political entity in powered desk in powered by the indian claims commission to speak for all western shoshone. so, the temoke band emerged from an older set of confederations. there was a treaty council that had a listed -- existed, up until 1890, but that was revised in 1912. that treaty council, which was often led by members of the
temoke family, most of those are usually in the opposition of claims. in any case, they hire an attorney as early as 1932 to pursue a claim. this is an eight-member council. not to claim that the land was lost but to go after the government for unkempt promises. during the indian reorganization act, the bureau of indian anairs pushed them to form umbrella government that would roughly cover the area of the treaty. that is where the bands come from. chartered,initially
ained theonly cont colony. the battle mountain colony joined, but then left in 1940. during this claims period, those represented are only those on at the south fork reservation, so not an all-inclusive group. now, that brings us to the actual claim. temoke bands are going to be the political entity that is recognized and they will speak for the western shoshone identifiable group. that is what is called. docket 326 is the largest shoshone claim. that is what we'll focus on. this involves the identifiable
group, the western shoshone's. now who represents them? it will be wilkinson, cragin, and barker. we already talked about wilkinson, a claims attorney in washington who was instrumental in the indian claims commission. in 1945, the attorney that had been hired by the traditional treaty council of the western shoshone's, he became a judge, so he turned all of his business over to his partner, wilson. wilson decided to bring in wilkinson, he agrees to partner with him. in planning for this claim, wilkinson stakes out the position that the title has been completely lost. he does not do this consulting
but the western shoshone's, he does this in a letter to wilson, saying, "if we prosecute this case, it should be on the loss of possession." remember, there is no financial incentive for saying that the title exists. they will pursue this idea. the first time this is explained to the western shoshone was in june, 1947, and he told him that the land was already gone, the best they could hope for was a monetary settlement. at that point, the bands signed a contract with barker, who will be the lead attorney through most of this. by 1950, wilkinson has convened shoshone's inll utah to pursue a larger claim. the majority of the people who vote at this meeting vote for
the claim, to pursue it. here is the problem, many of the shoshones their walk out and refuse to vote. remember that problem we talked about that they face in these competitive elections, the traditional way to show rejection is to not participate. just as in the passage of the act we talked about last time, in this case it hurts them because they refuse to participate. the few who remain, they vote in favor and you get an election that says, yes, let's go forward. this is a large number, including the te-moak family, they refuse to vote. and so, wilkinson files the case on august 10, 1951. three days before the deadline. he files the case and leaves.
where does he end up? does anyone know? he becomes the president of brigham young university until 1971. so, the case then falls to his partner, barker. he becomes the lead on the case and deals directly with the western shoshone case in particular. it is there where we see this division between what shoshone people call the land people and the money people. again, i do not want you to vilify one side, you need to think about the hard choices people make. the people deemed the money people often are those who are involved in government or those who feel disempowered.
they say the system and if say, -- and they say, we will never get this land back, the best we can do is get this money. the land people, the traditionals, they always assert that the treaty was in force, the land was theirs and they will effectively sell the land. they say that will happen if they take the settlement. so they summarize it this way, you will find out that you are actually selling indian rights, it there is no mention of selling land, it will always take care of you. nobody will ever find my indian right, they are sacred. but many western shoshone will feel powerless. and attorneys will work through the money people, the people in
charge of tribal governments, these small governments for the colonies, to keep the claims process moving. the leadership of the bands, not including the family itself, often support the claims process, but at crucial times it will also reject the claims process. in 1977, and interior department attorney wrote, "although the asserts his claim to land may be intact may be in the majority, it may be those seeking damages who are -- the structure of the indian claims commission act." what did he mean? you might get a little steamed hearing about how this case
actually worked out. so the case is filed, wilkinson stepped aside, barker is the lead attorney. from that until 1962, that case point went through the title phase. there is never a move to assert that the treaty was still in effect. that would mean no settlement. the expert witness called is omer stewart, who is a longtime professor at the university of colorado and worked with many great basin tribes. he testified in it was his -- and it was his testimony that proved the exclusive use of the shoshone nation more broadly. and ultimately the claims commission will issue its initial decision of title and docket 326-k in october of 1962. it's decision will not be explained to most western
shoshone until a meeting in 1963. so you might ask yourself, there was no land secession, how did they lose the land? they lost it -- the indian claims commission decided that they lost it through gradual encroachment. the commission right, by gradual writes, by gradual encroachment by settlers and others, the acquisition, disposition and taking of their lands by the u.s. for its own use and benefit, or the use and benefit of citizens, the way of life of western shoshone were forfeited and they were deprived of land. any legal precedents to this
idea? it sounds like to me, like an idea from real estate, adverse possession. if you allow someone to use property for an extended amount of time, they established property rights on your property. so you have to cross their backyard to get to your property, they established that. but that is in the case that you do not say anything. obviously, the western shoshone have set a lot for a long time. since the council. since 1932, they have been saying, live up to the treaty. the treaty still exists, they say it is their land. it has been going on for 30 years at that point. now, again, this meeting takes place in 1953, barker explains the case. this will alienate many shoshone, even those who were involved up to that point, including blossom who was a leader at battle mountain.
but also other important figures at the meeting. ok, so questions on that? you should have questions. gradual encroachment, the land has been lost. here is the problem. you enter into, as you enter into the value liability, we will come back to this, this is a map of federal land in nevada. most of it is owned by the military. once you have established the title and it has been lost, what is the next step? what is it worth? and how do you determine that? the date of taking, right?
how do you determine the gradual date of taking? how? not even experts -- a joint stipulation. robert barker and the indian claims commission got together and they agreed, jointly agreed, that the western shoshone had lost their land on july 1, 1872. this is an arbitrary date, nothing happened. you ever see something in the desert, signs, on this date, nothing happened. it is a gag. that is the case here, it does not relate to an event.
on february 11, 1966, the indian claims commission accepts the date of taking. the western shoshone are not consulted. this happens in washington. now, the californians, remember the shoshone claim 2 million acres of this, but that does have a specific date related to california law, 1852, that dictated indians had to make claims to the property they own. indians never heard of this law. it went into effect and that was on march 3, 1853. so california land will be valued earlier, that smaller portion in california. so now, how do you get -- how do you value this land? barker needs to get money to hire professional appraisers. he explains this to the people,
there is a great deal of unrest, unhappiness with this idea. and he presses ahead with the claim. in 1955, he asks them to take out a loan on the final settlement. he says, then we can hire appraisers and they will say what is worth. they say no, they reject it. so barker calls a meeting, the western shoshone get-together and the same thing happens, those opposed walkout. they do not like the process, they are upset, they walkout and don't vote. those who remain vote to approve the loan. right? so in order to handle the claims
process, since the te-moak band did not take out a loan, the indian affairs establishes a western shoshone claims committee. these are those who will make decisions, they will operate from 1955-1980. raymond yao, he becomes a proponent for the claim, but he is one of the original members. so it is with that $145,000 loan that the appraisers go out and they come up with a figure. it will be accepted by the indian claims commission in 1972. the claims commission will accept the appraisal for 22 million acres at 21 million
million, about nine cents an acre. remember no interest. , there is however going to be an additional $4 million added for mining profits that were lost before the date of taking. $26,154,000ward, for 23,000,970 acres. so about $1.07 an acre, it is a pretty good deal if you can get it. so this is where it fits in 1972. the claim has gone through. now, it is supposed to be a done deal. this is where things are going to go off the rail.
it takes 40 more years for the reach the to actually shoshone's. 40 more years. ok. now, now, resistance to the claim had existed going pretty far back. i talked about the 1963 meeting that opposed -- with a family that opposed this. other shoney's also closed to this. shoshone's are also opposed to this. in 1973, after the value liability phase, there was a another liability meeting. the treaty gave the shoshone no land and he said and i quote, according to the treaty you lost everything. i think that is a very weird reading of the treaty. there is no land session, it
says nothing about losing anything. as you can imagine, this irritates a lot of people. they walk out. but in this case, there is a filmmaker there. joel friedman, who made two movies. one of the movies robert redford narrated that came out in 1975. the grassroots resistance to this, to the claim, is going to take the form of individuals and groups who want to, again, assert the right of traditional shoshone ownership of land. the treaty has never led to any loss of land. this guy is the founder of the western shoshone legal defense and education association, which later took the name of the western shoshone sacred lands association. you can see some of the other
members of the association in 1979, most famously, the dan sisters. these folks are going to, again, recognize a traditional form of shoshone leadership. they recognize the traditional chief. in 1974, they bring the motion before the indian claims commission for a stay. basically saying the groups that have spoke for us had do not speak for all western shoshone. they also allude there was a great deal of collusion and the settlement needed to put on hold. the indian claims commission rejected the petition. the decision and
said, it amounted to a request for a re-hearing and if they wanted a re-hearing, they needed to make it within 60 days of the hearing. a technicality. it rejected the claim of collusion. and it said it would not have approved the 1872 day of taking had it been built unfair to the petitioners unquote. so they are completely shut down. by 1976, the te-moak bands have changed hands in leadership. traditional's are in charge. the issue two tribal resolutions. they want to make a stay of the settlement, saying, let's stop this right now. and the other, they want to fire their attorney. in both cases, the indian claims commission rejects their attempt. they cannot even fire -- they are not allowed to fire their own attorney. all right?
barker, for his part, responded claim -- [indiscernible] one council members said, we had no choice but to take money to try to get the land back. mr. barker made the choice and told the commission we had no title, and the treaty was no good. barker will remain in charge of this plan. until the payment of money. so, again, we have this grassroots resistance focused on traditional leadership, but we also have the indian claims commission accepting a very strict definition of how this is going to play out that to definitely favors the claims of attorneys, who by this time are really driving the issue.
in 1977, the icc issued a final decision. in the western shoshone case, accepted at all. the court of claims upholds the award of $26 million and 1979. it is at that point that a special account was created. $26 million is deposited in that special account and wilkinson, cragin, and barker, receive their $2.6 million. at that point, barker is no longer the attorney because the case, according to the icc, the court of claims, is over. but it is not close to over. all right? in 1980, the majority of shoshone's who attend the meeting voice their displeasure. they reject the settlement money. all right? so, by 1980, this is really changing.
now, we also see a move to try to establish a more formal treaty council that reflects a traditional form of government. it is going to be officially formed in january 1984 as a potential entity to speak for all western shoshone. five groups formed the initial council. within four years, it expands to 18 groups. including many other indian organization governments. it never becomes a federally recognized group. the leader who steps forward is one of the first members of the claims commission. the western shoshone claims committee established in 1965. when he publicly broke with barker in 1977, and he said, "for over 20 years mr. barker has been the cause of much
fighting between ourselves and has done nothing to enforce our rights except try to give up our rights for money so he can get his 10%." he becomes the leader of this group. and this counsel is never federal recognized, nor does it ever seek federal recognition. it seeks to be a council in which all western shoshone's discuss the issue and come to an agreement. it is going to be treated as a government in a couple of cases in the early 90's and late 80's, when the special courts recognize the right of the council to run hunting and fishing in reference to the department of hunting and wildlife. overall, it never becomes a federally recognized entity.
some are still fighting against the claim. now, in the early 1970's, when carrie and mary dann emerge as the public face as the resistance to the claimant. they live on a ranch in northern nevada. in crescent valley. they have this little chunk of land and they traditionally run cattle and horses on the open range around them. this land came under the jurisdiction of the land of bureau management. even earlier, under the taylor grazing act. but they did not pay grazing fees. this is western shoshone land, we have always use this land, and has not been alienated. they have been vocal opponents of the claim going way back. in 1973, after the valuation was considered, the notice was first issued.
the following year, the sister sue the government. the case will be in the courts for about 17 years. it will go through numerous incarnations, all the way to the supreme court and back. at one level, a district court decides, you lost all the land in 1872, that this is reversed by the ninth circuit court of appeals. another federal court decided the creation of a special account -- in 1979 -- that was when you lost your land. it goes to the supreme court, the supreme court says, that is not true. there might be individual aboriginal rights. it remanded it back down the line for decision. right? eventually, to make a long story
short because we are getting close on time, what happens is by 1989, the court kind of recognizes the idea of individual aboriginal rights based on the dann sister's father. they lead the process. but they say, we do not want original aboriginal rights, we want the right to use the land as they always had. after that, in the early 1990's, raids against the sisters increased. in february 1992, the blm moved to round up the horses. carrie dann stopped that roundup by getting in the middle of the cattle pen with the cattle and they were afraid she would be crushed and left. all right?
the wind is picking up. this continues through the 1990's. sporadic raids. big raids in 1992. not just on the dan's, but on the chief of the council. takes place in 2002 using helicopters, semi's, horse trailers, cattle were taken and sold at auction in reno. one of the buyers supports the dann's and he bought three of their bills and return them to the sisters as a statement that he agreed with their position. this may sound reminiscent of a recent case and southern nevada which has some fundamental differences. we will talk about that later if
there is time. the dann sisters and others will find common cause with the anti-nuclear movement because much of the western shoshone landscape, the claim, if some of the most militarized land in the united states. even though the land was supposedly taken in 1872, not that many people were ever there. right? besides shoshone's. today the population in nevada is about 3 million. about 25% live in the reno-carson-sparks city, and sparks area down from lake tahoe and almost 70% lives in metropolitan las vegas. both of these areas are outside the western shoshone claim. las vegas is southern country and reno is northern paiute
country. some of the least densely populated counties, the asthma esmeralda section, has 2.7 persons per square mile. persons the other has almost . 1700 persons per square mile. this is not country that is being occupied. it is being occupied by the federal government, though. the most famous portion of land, of course, being the nevada test site where over 900 bombs were set off over several decades. atmospheric testing ended over 50 years ago but hundreds of bombs were tested underground. this is yucca flat, northwest of las vegas. everyone of those craters is subsidence craters from a nuclear explosion. and so, protesting the nevada test site, protesting the taking of the western shoshone land,
brings the dann sisters and the traditional's together with the anti-nuclear movement. with the environmental movement. in 1979, the government rules -- rolls out an idea for a missile that will be put on racetracks and hidden in the desert of eastern nevada and western utah, the western shoshone's disagree with that and so do many others, so that gets derailed. there he controversially, -- very controversially is yucca mountain, supposed to be the site of the permanent high-level nuclear storage facility. other environmental issues, to give you an idea how much land we're talking about, the western shoshone country, if you look at the nevada test site alone, right, we are talking about land that is 4500 square miles between the test site and the air force range are rounded.
-- around it. 4500 square miles. larger than the state of connecticut. now, also, there is a new gold rush to nevada. there are also other environmental concerns around where the dann sisters live. in 2008, 1 of the sisters became part of a lawsuit to stop the expansion of the massive cortez mine. that is where all of the money and nevada comes from today. it is the largest gold-producing state. 80% of the united states grant comes from nevada and united states ranks third in the world in production of gold. so there's a lot of gold. they use cyanide heat bleach mining to remove gold.
are there other ways to deal with this? this is being held up at this point. one bright thing that comes out of this is the recognition of these shoshone people in death valley but the negotiation that takes place. one positive outcome. shoshone had lived in and around death valley for thousands of years. they refused to leave death valley after the monument was formed in the park in 1994. tribal members charged the national park members destroyed their homes when they left the valley for the mountains in the summer. as part of the california desert protection act of 1994, the national park service was mandated to go into negotiation with the shoshone people to come up with reservation land both
inside and around the expanded death valley national park. right? and the outcome was a multi-parcel reservation of 7600 acres in locations outside the park and also inside furnace creek. i took that picture a couple years ago. just south of furnace creek, the visitor center. there is the shoshone reservation recognized within the national park. charles wilkinson, the famous indian rights attorney, university of colorado, he suggested the settlement would offer a model for negotiated settlements. he argued this was a model that could be used and that decent sized reservations should be the answer. right? a series of negotiation should take place and multiple shoshone reservation should be created throughout the claims area.
right? and that land should be guaranteed in perpetuity. but that is not the way it works out. right? by the late 1990's, most of the tribal council move toward accepting the claim. a long process. in 1997, the te-moak council issued a resolution. again, in 2002. fort mcdermott, duck valley. the only group who consistently opposed it by the late 1990's and early 2000s were the shoshone in south-central nevada. at this point, harry reid will introduce a bill into congress. congress will pass. george w. bush will sign into law the western shoshone claims distribution act. the act provides for the per capita, 100 percent per capita distribution of the original
award with interest and the use of a smaller award for an educational trust fund. to get the land, or to get the money, they must create an eligibility role. this is going to sound familiar to you as we talked about race and blood quantum and how that all comes into play, you have to prove 25% of shoshone blood to be eligible for a payment. creating the roll takes years. final deadline to apply is in 2010. eventually, 9600 people apply. finally, 5361 persons are approved. many people who oppose the claim
sign up because they said he would have to be foolish to not, if you don't, you will get nothing and the land will be lost. partial payments went out, and september 2012, 2.5 years ago, the final payments went out. each individual eligible received around $35,000. the total payout was around $188 million. this officially ended the western shoshone land claim. some still say it is unjust. they say even if the claim is accepted, we still need to pursue the return of land and that should be just. when you think about this, what had happened, that this had taken 60 years, right? 1991.
-- 1951. 61 years since the case was filed. 50 years since the finding of gradual encroachment. right? and, 46 years since the stipulation of 1872 as the taking date. right? 40 years since the value was accepted. right? and over 35 years since the claim was upheld. it was fought this entire time. what does this mean? it means that, for tribal sovereignty to exist, a land and control over resources is essential but not all people have that ability. it also points to, i think, the real, deep division between traditional forms of government and property ownership and those of euro-american legislation's dominant in these systems.
we can see some of the limitations placed on native communities today. and some of the hard choices they make. people who takes the claim are not necessarily selling out. maybe the best deal they will get. they have to make hard choices. any questions on all of this or are you just stunned? you are a very quiet group today. all right, well, i guess i will see you next time. >> i think every first lady should do something in this position to help the things she cares about. i just think that everything in the white house should be the best in the entertainment that's given here. it's chosen the same the world over.
good, in a world where there is quite enough to divide people, that we should cherish the language and emotion that unite us all. kennedy's days as first lady word designed as young mother, and advocate for the arts. as television came of age, it was ultimately the tragic images of president kennedy's assassination and funeral that cemented her in the public mind. jacqueline kennedy, tonight at 8:00 p.m. eastern on c-span's original series first ladies, influences image. examining the public and private lives of the women who influence the presidency, from martha washington to michelle obama tonight at 8:00 p.m. eastern on american history tv on c-span3. >> tonight on