2022 Land Acknowledgment

As we gather for the ASHE 2022 Conference, consider taking some time to learn, reflect, and acknowledge that the land and resources we are using to sustain ourselves rightfully belong to Indigenous Peoples who continue to live and thrive all around the Southern Nevada area. We are upon the sacred ancestral land of the Nuwu - Southern Paiute, Wa She Shu - Washoe, Numu - Northern Paiute, Nuwe - Western Shoshone, Hualapai, and Chemehuevi; people who live and thrive all around the state of Nevada. We also highlight and uplift all of Nevada’s 27 sovereign tribal nations.

We acknowledge the painful history of genocide and settler colonialism that continues to impact Native & Indigenous communities today, and we honor the past, present, and future stewards of this land. We offer gratitude for the land, for those who have stewarded it for generations, and for the opportunity to study, learn, work, and be in community with this land. We encourage everyone in this space to engage in continued learning about the Indigenous peoples who work and live on this land since time immemorial, including the Las Vegas Paiute Tribe and the Moapa Band of Paiutes, and about the historical and present realities of colonialism.

The Las Vegas Pauite Tribe is descended from the Tudinu or "Desert People", ancestors of most of the tribes of Southern Paiutes whose traditional territory is the lower Colorado River valley as well as the mountains and arroyos of the Mojave Desert in Nevada, California, and Utah. Petroglyphs dating back thousands of years can be found in Red Rock, Valley of Fire, Sloan Canyon, and other locations throughout Southern Nevada.

Beginning in the early 19th century non-native settlers moved into the area, resulting in the displacement of local tribes from both its water-rich lowland winter and tree-rich mountainous summer campgrounds. The annexation of the state of Nevada in 1864, missions of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints, the building of the railroad through the western United States, and the creation of the town of Las Vegas adjacent to the region's most significant water source all led to the relocation of the Southern Paiutes.

Seeing the tribe's dispossession, on December 30, 1911, Helen J. Stewart, owner of the pre-railroad Las Vegas Rancho, deeded 10 acres of spring-fed downtown Las Vegas land to the Paiute peoples, creating the Las Vegas Indian Colony. Until 1983 this was the tribe's only communal land, forming a small "town within a town" in downtown Las Vegas. The tribe ratified their constitution and bylaws on July 22, 1970 and were federally recognized, under the Indian Reorganization Act. In 1983, Congress returned to the tribe 3,800 acres (1,500 ha) of land between the eastern slopes of Mount Charleston in the Spring Mountains and the western flanks of the Sheep Range. This land is known as the Snow Mountain Reservation of the Las Vegas Tribe of Paiute Indians.

Today, the Nuwu continue to traverse and steward the land of the greater Nevada area with other Indigenous communities, such as the Wa She Shu (Washoe), Numu (Northern Paiutes), and the Newe (Western Shoshone). The Las Vegas Tribe of Paiute Indians currently operates a minimart, a cannabis dispensary, two smoke shops, a health and human services program, the Las Vegas Paiute Police Department, and the Las Vegas Paiute Golf Resort. The tribe hosts the Annual Snow Mountain Pow Wow every Memorial Day weekend. In 2017, the Moapa Band of Paiutes established the first utility-scale solar project to be located on North American tribal lands and is anticipated to evolve as a model for similar future economic and environmental partnerships. Additionally, the Las Vegas Valley is home to many urban Indigenous community members who consistently fight for Indigenous representation and sovereignty.