Paiutes Not Really Worried About Artifacts at Refuge
Burns – There have been many political statements made about the Paiute Tribe and their artifacts at the Malheur Wildlife Refuge, currently occupied by Ammon Bundy and his group of protesters.
The Burns Paiute tribal leader, Charlotte Rodrique, has made multiple statements of concern over the Native American artifacts that have been stored for them.
The artifacts, numbering about 4,000, have been at the refuge for decades. The Federal Government, in the form of the Bureau of Land Management (BLM) have not been careful with these precious items.
Redoubt News has seen some of them, stored in cardboard boxes, shoved into corners of the basement areas. They were covered in dirt and rodent droppings. It was quite obvious that this condition took years to develop. It did not happen over the last few weeks.
Where were the Paiutes during all of this time? Have they ever been to the refuge to check on their artifacts? Why weren’t they concerned about the care before now?
Redoubt News was present this week when calls were made to Rodrique asking for meetings to discuss the artifacts. During one call, she listened to the request and paused, then she hung up on the caller. She refused to acknowledge the request, or show any concern over getting the Tribal Property back into their hands. Subsequent phone calls went unanswered.
These calls were placed prior to the Community meeting on Tuesday, January 19, 2016, where Rodrique made several political statements about Bundy and the protesters. It makes us wonder why the Tribe’s official position is more concerned with the politics of the situation than with obtaining custody of these artifacts. How much money is the Tribe receiving from the Federal government in the form of grants, or any other funds?
It saddens us that the Tribal hierarchy would do such a disservice to their own Paiute Tribe, as well as the citizens of Harney County.