Western Shoshone – Most Radiated Nation on Earth

The Nevada Test Site Within Newe Sogobia

In 1948, Western Shoshone lands were seized to create the Nevada Test Site, forcing over 100 families to abandon seasonal or permanent family camps. Many burial and cultural sites exist within the Test Site and are inaccessible to the people. No compensation was ever offered. The Western Shoshone are the most bombed nation on Earth, with over 1,000 nuclear bombs detonated on their lands by the U.S. and Great Britain.

In 1987, the Western Shoshone National Council exercised their sovereignty and challenged U.S. jurisdiction by issuing WSNC Land Use Permits to participants of anti-nuclear gatherings at the Nevada Test Site. Since that time, hundreds of simple trespass actions onto the Test Site have not been prosecuted, because the government wants to keep the issue of the Ruby Valley Treaty out of the courts.

The Yucca Mt. Nuclear Waste Repository

On February 14th, 2002, Energy Secretary Abraham recommended Yucca Mt. as the site for storage of all US irradiated reactor fuel and other high-level radioactive waste. If passed, the federal government would ‘ withdraw’ (steal) another 260 square miles of Newe Sogobia. The DOE hopes to complete their license application by the end of 2008. The WSNC is completely opposed to the Yucca Mountain project, and has passed a resolution making all of New Sogobia a Nuclear-Free Zone. Litigation continues.

WSNC member Johnnie Bobb, a spiritual leader from the Yomba Shoshone Reservation, has led the annual spring Newene Sogobi Mava’a Mia: Western Shoshone Walk On the Sacred Land since 2000. Walkers and runners alternately encircle the western and eastern boundaries of the Test Site the first two years, ending at the NTS gates or Yucca Mountain. They conduct prayer ceremonies and vigils, visit communities, and bless waters, hot springs, all living beings and the land along the way.


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