LAWSUIT: Gov’t Bulldozed Sacred Burial Ground; Protected Tattoo Parlor

(Kaylee McGhee, Liberty Headlines) Native Americans in Oregon are seeking justice in federal court after the government bulldozed their sacred burial ground during road construction.

LAWSUIT: Gov't Bulldozed Sacred Burial Ground; Protected Tattoo Parlor

PHOTO: Becket Law

In 2008, the government needlessly destroyed a stone altar, a burial ground, a campground, and other parts of three Native American tribes’ religious rituals as part of a highway-widening project. Becket, a religious liberty law firm, said government officials could easily have avoided the destruction by widening the road on the other side, or using a retaining wall.

Becket said the government has spent the time and money to use protective retaining walls in past projects, citing a recent example of their decision to use the barriers to protect a nearby wetland and tattoo parlor.

“When it’s an endangered species, wetlands, or even a nearby tattoo parlor, the government finds a way to protect it; but when it’s a Native American sacred site, they unleash the bulldozers and chainsaws,” said Luke Goodrich, deputy general counsel at Becket. “After taking this land from the tribes in 1855, the government now has the gall to claim that it can destroy it because it is ‘government land.’ But it’s not 1855 anymore.”

Members of three Native American tribes took the government to court in 2008, and have spent the last several years in dialogue with government representatives, according to Native News Online.

The negotiations failed, however, forcing the tribes to return to court to seek what they believe to be justice for their trampled religious rights.

“The government has callously and needlessly destroyed a sacred Native American burial ground, and now it refuses to make things right,” Goodrich said. “Although the government left the other side of the highway untouched, it bulldozed the burial site, lost sacred stone markers and removed safe access to the site. All the tribal members ask is that their beliefs and sacred sites be respected.”

Plaintiff Johnny Jackson, a hereditary chief of the Klickitat and Cascade Tribes of the Yakima Nation, said if the government is able to destroy one group’s religious property, they will do so to any and every religious group.

“To me, this site was like a church. One that never had walls, or a roof, or a floor, but it was still just as sacred,” he said. “If the government can callously destroy our place of worship, it could do the same to any other group.”

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  • coconuisse

    Has there ever been a treaty that was honored by our government? Has there ever been a case where ” eminent domain” was more callously applied?

    • independent thinker

      Answer to the second question: Kinzua Dam.

  • Nina Ferguson

    This was handled very badly. The road department should have made at least some effort to save these sacred lands. Believe me, they sacred sites are worth a whole lot more than a tattoo parlor.

    • Mic

      As a retired Dept of Interior employee, I can tell you that when a nyone, government or not goes to do anything, there are Indians that will call it as violating their rights. There is even tribes that say it is their right to kill bald eagles.

      • Greg

        Not all Native Americans think that way.. Im Native American and I dont.

  • Born Again Southern Pride

    One more example that the government doesn’t care about people…

    • Matthew Bowman

      They seem to care about the “who da baby daddy” crowd and the illegal aliens. They just don’t care about all us hard working middle class taxpayers.

  • Warren Blum

    Stop defending these savages. They are Russian pinkos who crossed the bearing strait during the last ice age.

    • Jack Maddox

      Your statement proves how stupid you are!

    • satcatchet

      Oh ya and you are citing
      what historical documents?

    • Tom

      Stop that, you guys. Can’t you see Blum’s kidding?

      • Warren Blum

        Thanks tom. A little BLACK humor. Everyone is so sensitive these days. What’s going to happen to us when the noko invade the west coast.? Hand out flowers I guess… lolololo

  • satcatchet

    Ok Trump your up.

  • Raymond Miller

    All the tribes need to do is declare the sites to be Masque and they can have what ever they want. The Government will put every thing back like it was and pay them millions in restitution.

  • Gregg Parker

    They should have put up a teepee in the middle and opened a tatoo parlor.. problem solved…

    • satcatchet

      We built casinos & truck fuel and rest stops in Oklahoma. We also provide for the needy.

      • Gregg Parker

        Right, if anyone wants to keep their land they just to be smarter than the thieves!

  • Dean

    They wouldn’t have bulldozed a cemetery of settlers. Only of Native Americans.

    • Mic

      You have a short memory. Several years ago when a body was found in a river bed in the North West, a tribe claimed it was one or their ancestors. Luckily it got examined while Indians were still fighting in court. Turned out the only thing that the Norseman had to do with Indians was he had been murdered by them.

  • satcatchet

    The Yakama tribe is a federally recognized tribe (in Washington state) and the people in the state of Oregon may win big on their lawsuit. You see people, these indian nations are just that, nations and one cannot go into another nation and have their way with it, in this case, the Yakama Nation. Imagine if the USA went into Canada or Mexico and did this.

    • independent thinker

      Ah, what’s an Indian anyhow. Taken from a Johnny Cash song called I think “As Long as the Grass Shall Grow”.

      • independent thinker

        PS: Before any of you have a $h!t fit look up the song.

    • Mic

      Yet while they want their tribal land to be treated as a separate nation, They also want to be treated like any U.S. citizen and be able to go to anyplace in the US without needing a VISA or passport.

  • iprazhm

    The level of corruption in Washington is glaringly evident in it’s violation of Native American Indian treaties. This is another gross betrayal of trust. It is heinous and should be punished at the highest levels allowed! Restitution must be given and heads must roll! Or we are a fake country in a flux of ANARCHY!

  • Flyby

    It’s reprehensible that unless the road could not be built any other way, that far more consideration wasn’t givin to America’s Native Americans. Graves could have been moved along with Headstones. And that’s IF it was the only way to complete it which I have doubts about. I don’t know if monetary rewards would actually help if only given money for nothing, unless the Indians do properly move the graves with it. I’m sure that is what their medicine men would want. Good luck.

  • Tom

    It’s intentional, of course. The enemy has always sought to destroy the histories of conquered nations and obliterate their cultures. Alexandria’s library was destroyed, and so were the Mayan libraries. Another example is Cecil Rhodes, agent of the Rothschild’s and, I believe, founder of the Homintern, and his takeover of various African nations. Those people migrated with the seasons and so had no libraries. Instead, they had historians who had memorized their nation’s history and used varicolored grains, powders, and sands to graphically depict that same history in sand paintings. Rhodes ordered his mercenaries to find the man who had the colored sands and kill him. All of Rhodes’ inner group had to be homosexual, and this group later originated the Council on Foreign Relations, among others. Zimbabwe used to be called Rhodesia, as you may remember.

  • Henry Gregg Nash

    The Department of the interior should have his butt kicked!!!! I know there some who would love to kick his butt!

  • ImOffendedTreatMeSpecial

    If anyone has any questions about how the government will treat you when it has full control just look at the native Americans – Henry Ford. As true today as it was 100 years ago.

  • Louie Rey

    I have to agree with the Native Americans on this one. That should not have occurred. Sacred ground is sacred for a reason.All these years later they’re still being taken advantage of and that’s not right.

  • Maynard

    I quote the famous saying around government offices: ” It’s good enough for government work”