Indigenous Peoples and Human Rights

December 16, 2022

Paiute and Shoshone Elders Evicted from their Homes in Winnemucca Indian Colony, Nevada

Photo courtesy Neweneen Sokopa Camp

Police blocking entrance to Paiute
and Shoshone to return home at Winnemucca
Indian Colony.

Paiute and Shoshone were evicted from their homes in winter by a disputed tribal council and banished, many with no place to go. Kyle Missouri was tasered, arrested, and now jailed while attempting to return home.

By Brenda Norrell
Censored News
Updated Dec. 17, 2022
Translated to French by Christine Prat

WINNEMUCCA INDIAN COLONY, Nevada -- In a cruel action during winter, the Winnemucca Tribal Court evicted Paiute and Shoshone elders without a trial, and banished people from their homes with no place to go in northern Nevada. Elders' homes and possessions have been burned and demolished, and utility lines cut, attorneys said.

"They are living in motels right before Christmas, and it is heartbreaking," said Kyle Missourii, who was arrested and tasered as he returned to his home, where he grew up, which is owned by his 88-year-old grandmother. Kyle is now in jail.

The Winnemucca Tribal Court ruled for the disputed Tribal Council without giving elders and residents the benefit of a trial. The tribal court ordered most elders and residents out of the homes they have lived in for decades by Friday, December 9, attorneys said.

Paiute Elder Resident JJ Ayer said, “I am of seven generations of Native people that have lived on the Winnemucca Indian Colony. This is wrong in every way, most of us are disabled and old with no other home but here and now we are banished from our land.”

Paiute and Shoshone elders said the tribal council, led by a chairwoman who does not live here, and provides inconsistent claims of being Native American, have brought in a demolition business from Kingman, Arizona, to destory their homes.

Neweneen Sokopa Camp said Kyle Missourii, a resident, was wrongfully arrested and tasered when attempting to go home, to his grandmother's home where he grew up. Missouri's grandmother, 88, has lived here for 40 years.

"He was arrested and tased when going home after finding out his grandmother's home was being boarded up."

"This is illegal and disgusting. Judy Rojo and her fake council have no right to move forward with any evictions let alone arrest someone for going back to where they have lived for generations," Neweneen Sokopa Camp said.

Kyle Missourii's grandmother home boarded up in Winnemucca Indian Colony

Before being arrested and tasered, Missourii said,
 "Just got some news today that makes me extremely angry. They are lucky that I am not home due to family plans right now but I'm going home tomorrow and they are not stopping me from going to my family house."

"They are committing a crime to board my grandmother's house without her consent. That is her main residence and she owns the house. They are blocking our trash from going out and out mail being delivered. When I get home I am taking these boards off and filing formal charges."

During a radio interview, Missourii, who has lived here for more than thirty years, said he has never even met Judy Rojo, the person who poses as the tribal chairwoman and appears to live in California. Missourii said the current tribal leaders refuse to prove that they are Native American.

Missourii said at the same time there is a push for the lithium mine planned at Thacker Pass, a Paiute Massacre Site.

"What it all comes down to is money," Missourii told Final Straw Radio this week. He said the lithium mine will bring a man camp, workers' camp, to the area, resulting in sexual violence against Native women, and more missing and murdered Indigenous People.

Missourii said in earlier times, Native people were not controlled and manipulated by money.

"The earth takes care of us, and we take care of her."

Missourii said most of those being evicted are disabled, on social security, or families with small children. In some cases, people's belongings have been thrown out on the ground.

BIA police are preventing people from going to their homes. Elders are forced now to stay in hotels, which are expensive, he said.

Before being tasered, arrested and jailed, Missourii wrote:

"So, I have been trying to figure out the best way to express what is going on right now. As I have mentioned in the past, the Winnemucca Indian Colony Residents have been in a legal battle with people who are from out of state claiming to be Native American but through all of the legal proceedings refusing to show any evidence to show it.

"They claim that the residents are trespassers and do not belong on the colony and we are told to go back to our own reservation. With those words, I feel that no Native person would say that to another. That reminds me of the old racist saying of someone telling another to go back to their own country. This false council has been using federal funding that is usually used to help the Native people establish a better life but they use the funds to destroy and harass the elderly residents.

"As of right now they have a court order in effect that says that the residents here have to leave by Friday, December 9th at 4 pm and if we are not gone, we are threatened with arrest.

"Also, they have imposed on us a fine of 100 dollars a day since last December so rough $36,000 dollars and banishment from the colony for 10 years. Many members are elderly and have nowhere to go, some only survive on Social Security and take care of small children. This is the time of year when people are preparing for the holidays and getting ready to spend time with loved ones.

"The residents are scared and wonder what will happen next. A life that we have established here for decades is threatened by people who show they have no regard for human rights. This is a case of Colonization, There are Non-Natives kicking Natives off of Native Land. I refuse to give up and will continue this fight even if it ends me up in jail for a period of time for fighting stay at my home that I was raised in a home that my grandmother worked for years and paid until she was given a deed to the house a woman who took in 2 children whose father died and worked at the Humboldt General Hospital for decades to take care of us.

"I am one of the last of those kids and wont leave no matter the consequences. I will be on a podcast soon to have more details of the situation so people can hear our side of the story instead of false information given by the other party. I hope everyone had a great holiday season with your families," Missourii wrote before his arrest.

Inter-Tribal Court of Appeals heard the case on Thursday to halt evictions

Water Protectors Legal Collective said, "On Thursday, December 15, 2022, counsel argued for an emergency stay of the eviction and banishment orders in addition to a request filed for a site visit, asking the justices to visit the Colony grounds to see firsthand the difficult conditions the Elders and Residents face.

"This is a developing situation, we will share the ITCAN ruling when it becomes available."

As elders were being ordered out of their homes, an emergency motion to stay the order and an appeal was filed in court. These were filed by Sandra Freeman, Water Protector Legal Collective staff attorney representing Elder J.J. Ayer, and motions to stay and appeal were filed by Nevada Legal Services for the Elders and Residents they represent.

Winnemucca Indian Colony Inter-Tribal Court of Appeals of Nevada heard the case yesterday, Thursday, December 15, 2022. The hearing was held regarding the stay of the eviction order. The court has not yet issued its decision as of today, Friday.

Water Protector Legal Collective, Sandra Freeman, Staff Attorney, and Nevada Legal Services, Alexandra Rawlings, Directing Attorney, Indian Law Project and Farmworker Project said in a statement:

On Friday, December 2, 2022, the Winnemucca Tribal Court summarily evicted the Elders and other Residents (some still unrepresented) without a trial, banished several people, and found for the currently disputed Tribal Council without giving Elders and Residents the benefit of a trial. The tribal court ordered most Elders and Residents to leave the homes they have lived in for decades by Friday, December 9, 2022. An emergency motion to stay and appeal was filed by Sandra Freeman, Water Protector Legal Collective (WPLC) staff attorney representing Elder J.J. Ayer, and motions to stay and appeal were filed by Nevada Legal Services (NLS) for the Elders and Residents they represent.

On December 9, 2022, the Winnemucca Tribal Court held a court hearing about requests from the legal teams to stay the eviction order pending appeal to the Inter-Tribal Court of Appeals of Nevada (ITCAN). In a brief hearing, the Judge stated the Winnemucca Tribal Court no longer has jurisdiction over the motions to reconsider and stay the eviction/banishment, which are now pending before the ITCAN. The court hearing ended without a stay.

Within hours of the December 9 hearing, BIA and private security/construction contractors erected fences and barricades at entrance to the Colony grounds. Elders and Residents (even those not subject to eviction/banishment order) and the public must now pass through a militarized security checkpoint in order to enter the Colony, and all are facing the repression of free speech as well as freedom of association restrictions on the order of private security. Disabled Elders in their homes do not have access to aid, medical or meal delivery services because the public is prohibited from entry and freedom of movement is limited. The situation is developing rapidly and additional legal help is needed for unrepresented Residents that were evicted/banished by default judgment, and to address ongoing civil rights violations of all Elders, Residents, and people who support them.

Attorneys Needed

National Lawyers’ Guild Mass Defense Call for Legal Observers: “We're calling for experienced LOs capable of being accountable and safe in volatile circumstances to respond to an emerging situation in Winnemucca, NV. Indigenous [E]lders are being evicted from their homes in winter by disputed tribal leadership, in a situation beset by decades of litigation, infighting and interpersonal violence. Elders' homes and possessions have been burned and demolished, and utility lines cut. Some elders may resist forced relocation and have requested legal observers, medics, and media support.” To apply, please fill out this form. For questions, please contact:

Attorneys interested in providing pro-bono representation for unrepresented residents impacted by Tribal Court order pending appeal in ITCAN please contact:

Listen to Kyle Missouri's radio interview with Final Straw Radio this week:

Kyle was arrested and tasered as he returned home after this interview. His grandmother's home, which she paid for herself, and where he grew up, was boarded up. Kyle describes the heartbreak of seeing the Paiute and Shoshone elders and disabled living in motels just before Christmas, and the evictions during winter. As for the current tribal chairwoman, he says he has never seen her here, and she appears to live in California and provides inconsistent claims of being Native American.

"They are living in motels right before Christmas, and it is heartbreaking," said Kyle Missourii, who was arrested and tasered as he returned to his home, where he grew up, which is owned by his 88-year-old grandmother.


Ian Zabarte said...

This is why we need President Biden to create the Article 6 reservation for the protection and benefit of the Western Bands of the Shoshone Nation.

WeChargeGenocideDC said...

WTF? and FJB by the way