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Swamp Cedars Protection Bill Heard By Nevada Legislative Committee

Updated: Aug 26

Long overdue, a Nevada legislative committee on March 15 considered protections for sacred trees to indigenous people. These trees are the Swamp Cedars. There is no other place in the world like it, where a grove of these trees grows in the valley bottom and not the mountains. Since time immemorial, the Newe people went to this sacred grove to hold religious ceremonies. Sadly, that's part of the reason they were massacred three separate times at this site during the 1800's. A religious gathering area and a place to visit ancestors.

During my research when drafting the Swamp Cedars (Bahsahwahbee) nomination to list the site on the National Register of Historic Places as a Traditional Cultural Property, I discovered that about 1,000 people died at this site during the three massacres. The first one was the largest massacre of indigenous people in the US since 1776, where an estimated 550-700 people were killed and mutilated. This was a part of the Native American genocide, and it remains a significant part of the people's history both nationally and in Nevada.


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