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Bill would distribute $121 million to Shoshones in Nevada

28 June 2000

WASHINGTON -- June 28, 2000 – As reported by The Associated Press: "Old land claims would be settled and more than $121 million would go to Nevada's Western Shoshone Indian Tribe, under a controversial bill proposed by Sen. Harry Reid.

"Reid, D-Nev., said he introduced the measure on Tuesday because it's "increasingly apparent the vast majority of those who qualify to receive these funds support an immediate distribution of their money."

"Tribal members who opposed the payments have maintained that taking the funds could end the tribe's claim to land that it has longed for since white settlers began to push the native people aside.

"But others pressed for the money - $20,000 to every Shoshone man, woman and child - in payment for 23.6 million acres taken from their ancestors more than a century ago. About 6,500 people would be eligible.

"…Over the years, the Western Shoshone feud quietly churned through a dozen remote reservations and urban Indian "colonies" of northern Nevada.

"… [Advocates of the payments include Nancy Stewart of Fallon and Larry Piffero of Elko] acknowledge that the U.S. government's settlement is a paltry sum, considering the land lost. The Western Shoshone once ranged from the Snake River in Idaho to Joshua Tree in California. But they say it's unrealistic to hold out for anything more..."

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