Water Protector Legal Collective
Sandra Freeman, Staff Attorney
Nevada Legal Services
Alexandra Rawlings, Directing Attorney, Indian Law Project and Farmworker Project
December 29, 2022
Winnemucca Indian Colony Update:
Inter-Tribal Court of Appeals of Nevada (ITCAN) Denies Request For Stay
Winnemucca Indian Colony, Paiute and Shoshone lands, Nevada, U.S.A — After the Winnemucca Tribal Court summarily evicted the Elders and other Residents without a trial and banished several others on December 2, 2022, the Intertribal Court of Appeals of Nevada (ITCAN) heard oral arguments from attorneys from Water Protector Legal Collective (WPLC) and Nevada Legal Services (NLS) requesting to stay the eviction and banishment orders entered at summary judgment by the tribal court, and set the matter for a hearing on December 15, 2022. Late in the evening on Wednesday, December 28, 2022, ITCAN denied the request for a stay of the initial Winnemucca Tribal Court decision to evict Elders and Residents ordering them to leave the homes they have lived in for decades.
Even though the tribal court ordered most to leave their homes by Friday, December 9, 2022, in freezing conditions and with nowhere else to go, some residents stayed in their homes fearing arrest, water/electricity being turned off, and intimidation. Others found storage units and have been staying with family and friends off the Colony. In the past weeks, BIA and private security have stepped up enforcement, and currently the public is not allowed onto Colony grounds. Elders, Residents, and the many people who support them are devastated by the news denying the stay from ITCAN; in spite of this news, WPLC and NLS attorneys will continue to fight the eviction and banishment decisions on appeal and will update the community on our next steps. There is a strong current of local support for the Elders and Residents, and National Lawyers Guild Legal Observers remain on the ground to observe and document ongoing human rights violations.
For past legal updates on the situation at Winnemucca please visit:
About WPLC and NLS:
Born out of the #NoDAPL movement, the Water Protector Legal Collective is an Indigenous-led legal nonprofit that provides support and advocacy for Indigenous peoples and Original Nations, the Earth, and climate justice movements.
It is the Mission of Nevada Legal Services to strengthen the community by ensuring fairness and providing equal access to justice for low-income Nevadans. NLS has the responsibility to advance legal aid in search for justice for those who need it the most.