TUBAPE NUMU (PINENUT PEOPLE) – The Numu (Paiute) People have been harvesting the pine nut trees in the Great Basin Mountains for thousands of years. Many of the Numu People are named after their food sources such as Agui-Dicutta (Trout Eaters), Toi-Dicutta (Toolie eaters), Kubusi Dicutta (Rabbit eaters) to name a few and many more Tribes are directly affected by the land use policies that have caused superfund-sites, deforestation and global corporate encroachment. The result is a loss of habitat essential for the traditional way of life for the Great Basin & California Indigenous People.

Wovoka Cultural and Museum Project and other community tribal members first heard about the proposed deforestation project by the Forestry Department in Bridgeport, California in 2013. The project is a multi-agency effort lead by the Bureau of Land Management (BLM) and the United States Forest Service (USFS). Its official purpose is a landscape scale habitat improvement and hazardous fuels reduction on areas known to be the traditional harvesting places of the Great Basin Tribal Nations. However, the trees are being sold for profit and the cattle grazing leases of these agencies overlap the areas targeted for clear cutting showing alternative motives for the conservancy plan.

Our Indigenous scientists (grassroots harvesters, traditional gathers, and medicine people) participate and harvest traditional foods, prepare songs, cultural games, and perform ceremony in these traditional areas. The pine-nut blessing round dance songs are the traditional ceremonies still being done today and need to be continued for the survival and “healing” of our Indigenous Peoples. These Sacred Places keep our traditional way of life “alive” for the future generations to come and will disappear with the pine nut forest if the clear cutting does not halt.

Sweetwater Mountains, Desert Creek and Sand Canyon are Sacred Places being targeted and where our Great Basin Tribes continue to practice inherent rights to harvest pine-nuts as a pillar of food sovereignty and culture. Our traditional shared harvesting areas were once a vast and wide area spreading all across the Great Basin into California, Utah, Oregon and Arizona. Today we are trying to maintain our exclusive use and benefits over our natural and cultural resources in which we have a federally-recognized aboriginal title.

Several Congressional statutes and Presidential executive orders require “meaningful consultation” with the Tribes but the BLM state they did their legal obligation by sending out one letter requesting comments with no further efforts. This does not satisfy true consultation efforts according to the Indigenous communities being violated and is a trespass as well as a 5th amendment “takings” violation. Nevada Tribal Leaders, Tribal members, and Nevada residents are aggressively organizing to stop the BLM and the USFS from continued cutting of the Pine-nut Trees.

We need everyone’s support to assist us with their prayers and/or monetary donations by visiting or call spokesperson Myron Dewey at (425) 263-2560 for any further information.

Photos by: Bucky Harjo

Last Real Indians