Category Archives: Nevada

Alabama Prisoners Speak + JJ Ayers of Winnemucca Indian Colony

Alabama Prisoners Speak + JJ Ayers of Winnemucca Indian Colony

Split image of JJ Ayers & an ADOC prison dorm, "Alabama Prisoners + Jimmy Ayers of Winnemucca Indian Colony | TFSR 12-25-2022"
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This week on the show, we featured 2 segments: a chat with Michael Kimble & Gerald Griffin about conditions in Donaldson CF prison in Alabama; and Jim J. Ayers, a 42 year resident in 6 generations of lineage at Winnemucca Indian Colony facing eviction by the Tribal Council.

Conditions at Donaldson Prison in Alabama

First up, anarchist prisoner Michael Kimble and his friend Gerald Griffin talk about the current situation at William E Donaldson Correctional Facility in Bessemer, Alabama. Following the pause of prisoner work stoppages in October of this year, Gerald and Michael talk about violence at the institution, overcrowding and under staffing, lack of medical care, mistreatment of gay and other marginalized prisoners and other, hard topics. There is mention of extortion, violence, drug use, homophobia and other topics, so listener discretion is advised. You can information on how to get in touch with Michael and Gerald in the show notes, as well as Michael’s blog AnarchyLive , and we’ll be mailing out the latest Fire Ant Journal and our past interviews with Michael Kimble (5/19/2019 & 12/28/2015).

Michael Kimble #138017
William E. Donaldson Correctional
100 Warrior Ln
Bessemer, AL 35023

Gerald Griffin #247505
William E. Donaldson Correctional
100 Warrior Ln
Bessemer, AL 35023

If you’d like to donate to Michael’s legal and other costs outside of putting money on his commissary with his ADOC #, you can give a donation to our accounts and specify MK in the comment so we know where to pass it. Blue Ridge Anarchist Black Cross is also selling $20 Fire Ant Journal t-shirts designed by Michael Kimble as a benefit for him, linked in our shownotes. We hope to send out copies of the latest Fire Ant Journal with our patreon mailers at the beginning of January, for new supporters at $5 or anyone supporting at $10 or more per month, which goes to support our transcription costs. More on that and the places you can send funds directly to Michael at https://tfsr.wtf/support

Jim J. Ayers Resists Eviction at Winnemucca Indian Colony

Then, we return to the Winnemucca Indian Colony following last week’s conversation with Kyle Missouri who is resisting eviction from the colony in Humboldt County, Nevada. You’ll hear Jim Ayers, tribal council chairman until 2012 talk about how the current Tribal Council came to power at Winnemucca, the council’s wielding of private police and BIA officers to siege remaining holdouts to the eviction orders, Jimmy’s 6 generations of ancestors stretching back on the Winnemucca Indian lands and the ongoing legal proceedings heading through the ITCAN court as residents attempt to stop the council’s evictions, home wrecking and banishment actions.

  • Sandra Freeman of Water Protector Legal Collective is currently representing Jim in legal proceedings and are a great source for updates on the situation and ways for, especially legal workers, to plug in
  • Donations for the WIC residents can be sent to via cashapp to $DefendWIC
  • a fundraiser to support South Side Street Medics, an Indigenous-led crew to support providing first aid and training to residents of the Indian Colony
  • Jim Ayers interviewed in December 2021 by Honor Life youtube channel
  • Video discussing Judy Rojo (chairperson of disputed Winnemucca Tribal Council) by Man Red

Next Week…

We should be bringing you a chat with Sophie Lewis on her new book, Abolish The Family: A Manifesto of Care and Liberation, out from Verso Books in October of 2022.

Announcements

Asheville NYE Noise Demo and Bailout Action

If you’re in the Asheville area, you’re invited to join Asheville Community Bail project, Pansy Collective, Blue Ridge ABC and other local grouplets in a noise demo at the Buncombe County Jail, the deadliest jail for inmates in North Carolina, at 7pm on Saturday 12/31 at Pack Square. It’s suggested you dress warm and bring noise makers. Simultaneous, there will be a bailout action to get folks out of the jail. You can donate to this effort via the paypal for avlcommunitybail(at )riseup( dot)net or the venmo for blueridgeabc(at )riseup( dot)net, and any returned bail money will roll back into the community bail fund for future release activities. Learn more at avlcommunitybail.carrd.co

Zine: https://thefinalstrawradio.noblogs.org/files/2022/12/UPDATED-NYE-Zine.pdf

Phone Zap to Press Indiana to Get Treatment for Khalfani

IDOC watch is calling on folks to call and email the Indiana Department of Corrections to pressure them to move long-term political prisoner Khalfani Malik Khaldun (state name Leonard McQuay #874304) moved into a medical facility to remove the two cysts growing on his left temple since October of this year. Check our shownotes for a link to the blog post on idocwatch.org

Bad News #63

This month’s BAD News is now available! You can hear:

  • 1431am on the eviction of Mundo Nuevo squat in Thessaloniki and the murder by policeof Kalo Fragoulis, a 16 year old Roma and the death of a 12 year old child because of inadequate housing conditions;
  • Črna luknja shares a longer interview on the eviction of Mundo Nuevo squat in Thessaloniki;
  • A-Radio Berlin with a contribution from an anarchist perspective on anti-militarism and nationalism during the Yugoslav wars of the 1990’s. A segment of a longer interview;
  • Frequenz A concludes the show wih an interview with the accused in the so called “Luwi71-Trial” in Leipzig so-called Germany. The Luwi71 is a house (in the east of Leipzig) occupied for about 2 weeks back in august 2020.

. … . ..

Featured Tracks:

  • Ebb Tide by the Mar-Keys from Last Night
  • Ghost Town by The Specials on The Two Tone Story (RIP Terry Hall!)

. … . ..

Michael Kimble & Gerald Griffin Transcription

TFSR: Would you please introduce yourself for the audience with your location, or your name, or any other information that that they would find useful?

Michael Kimble: Okay, my name is Michael Kimble. I’m down in the Alabama prison system at William E. Donaldson Correctional in Alabama in Bessemer, AL, serving a life sentence for murder. I’m an anarchist, I’m gay, I’m a revolutionary, and I’m about abolishing the State.

TFSR: I like that.

So recently, Alabama prisons had participation by a number of people from a number of different facilities in different work stoppages and strikes, because the prisons require the workers to participate in order to function. I’ve heard some things about the conditions at places like Donaldson. People might have a thought that prisons look a lot of different ways in the US. Sometimes they’re Super Max’s and really constricted, and sometimes people have more access to outdoors and programs. But can you talk about what the conditions are like at Donaldson and why people were engaging in protest?

MK: Let me put it like this. I’ve been locked up 38 years. This is my third time at Donaldson. But this time here, they got me feeling like I’m coming to prison for the first time. Not just the officers, but the prisoners too. Here at Donaldson, the conditions are dire. You got all asbestos ceilings, paint, you have no security at all in the dorms. You are locked in a dorm with 118 other guys and we have no security. People are dying daily here.

Everyday there are ambulances at the back gate. We had over 30-40 deaths here within the last 15 months. Most of them due to drug overdoses, but some of them have been murders. Not just prisoner on prisoner, but guard on prisoners too. I think Gerald may want to say something about the conditions, because Gerald had been experiencing some conditions because he’s diabetic. He’s having a lot of problems with that. So he may want to share some of that with you.

Gerald Griffin: Hi, my name is Gerald Griffin. I’ve got a 22 year sentence. I’m originally from New York and I’ve just been in the Alabama prison system for the last 13 years. Just like Mr. Kimble was saying, this is not where you want to be. It’s a hopeless state of mind. We fend for ourselves. We guard, we we secure ourselves, we do everything that they supposed to be doing. I’m diabetic. They don’t give us [medications at a] regular time. They might call us at three o’clock or they might call us tomorrow at eight o’clock to get your insulin shot.

Dealing with insulin, you are supposed to take it at a regular hourly time. They don’t do that. Then when we fight about it, or when we say anything about it, they want to use their tactics. They spray us with mace when we’re not even being violent towards them. We are just asking for our medical health. It’s a lot of things that goes on in here.

It’s all over the news how many people are being arrested for corruption here, but it’s just like they do this and they do that but it’s still the same. They stay the same. This is getting more violent and dangerous because of the hopelessness that everybody has in this prison. You don’t have programs, we don’t do nothing. All we do is just stay and lock the door. We fend for ourselves. We see them, they come unlock the door and count and that’s it. That’s the last time we see them.

If somebody to be taken out for sickness, we have to literally knock the window out or bang for them to get attention. They are so short on staff. They don’t have no police, they don’t have nothing. We we secure and we police ourselves.

TFSR: Someone had told me before that because there’s no enforcement of giving people the cots that they’re assigned to or that they’re supposed to get, that oftentimes weaker people or older people, people with sickness, whatever get forced outside in the winter and all the rest of the time. Can you talk about that and what you’ve seen with that?

GG: Yes. You have people being kicked out of doors for whatever reason. Sleeping outside in the cold, sleeping on floors in the dorms, just unsanitary stuff. How can we say that this person can’t sleep here? This happens because they let it. They let it. No matter what, nobody’s supposed to be sleeping on is supposed to be everybody’s assigned to a rack. [Guards] don’t take time to do their job, to put somebody on the rack or anything like that. The corrupts run. Hold on.

MK: So they have these guys sleeping outside and in the cold, it’s winter time. Of course, they can come back in the dorm, but if you can’t house these people, you can’t protect these people and give them a ‘humane safe environment’ as your mission statement says… you have got to release them. More people are going out of this facility in body bags than making parole. The justice department has been here for the last three or four months doing investigations.

GG: DOJ was here while a murder took place.

Michael Kimble: Matter of fact, they was here while a murder took place. They had the riot team here too, at the time, and it still took place. We went on strike on September 26. We went on strike throughout the state of Alabama because we were complicit in our own incarceration and working for nothing. We say this is slavery.

[Background Commotion] Hear what they got going on right now, Bursts? Right now they are fighting now. They are fighting now and [guards] ain’t finna do nothing. You see these guys with these knives here and they ain’t finna do nothing.

TFSR: So when you’re talking about the DOJ that’s the federal government stepping in and saying, “We’ve heard reports that there is unsafe situations and that something needs to be done.” I think in Alabama, but at least like in Louisiana, and I think in Mississippi, the federal government stepped in at different times to say, “These are too dangerous of situations.” Why do you think the federal government hasn’t stepped in when the local government won’t? Just the same same thing, just different level

MK: Well, it’s really hard to say why, but when I really think about it… they got a bad federal prison system dealing with the same problems. So how can they correct anybody else’s problem when they aren’t correcting their own problems? It’s just for show. It’s because so much been going on. So many people been making noise, so they had to get involved. The city investigating the business going on since 2019. They’ve been investigating the State and threatening to file suit. Matter of fact, they have filed a suit on it, but still they hadn’t came in to take over.

Coming in and taking over isn’t going to do no good, because prisons are going to exist, and the condition of prisons are going to exists as long as they exist.

TFSR: Yeah, because these things are so ongoing and the Alabama prison system has continued not getting people out on parole, they’ve continued to be really badly understaffed and with facilities that are degrading and stuff… are they just waiting for a bailout to get new buildings built and then get kickbacks from that? Or they just don’t care?

GG: That’s what a lot of us feel like. They just trying to make this seem like it’s just so overwhelmed that they got to have new buildings. So that’s part of it. That’s part of the reason why they want to build a new prison and that’s the reason the governor, she don’t want to say that she got a problem. She knows she has a problem but she just don’t want to upset the community by saying, “I’m using this money, I’m using that money.” Stuff like that.

Right now, they know they have a problem and they don’t they don’t care. The only thing they care about is: New prison. That’s it. The money.

TFSR: Is it okay for your name to go into this? Is that okay with you? Could you spell your first and last name just so I get it right when I write it out?

TFSR: Do you want people who listen to this later to write you letters and get in touch with you or try to put money in your commissary or whatever?

GG: Yeah! That’d be cool. My number is #247505

TFSR: Awesome, that’s super helpful.

In the past, Michael had talked about how filling in the power vacuum, that it was mostly gangs that were taking control. Does it seemed like that still, or is it less organized?

GG: It’s more like cities now. The gang stuff is not really the problem no more. Because it’s everybody for themselves, for real. It’s like, “I get along with this person. I might get along with this person. I might get along with this group of people.” It just goes like that. Then you got the outsiders that got addiction problems and people look at them like scum of the earth. But how can you look at them like that and you’re selling it to them?!

Then there’re the gays. You got people will jump on them and send them out and do things to them. A lot of them, that’s who’s sleeping outside. But like I was saying, it’s behind closed doors stuff. A lot of people do stuff behind closed doors. They want to look good in front of their friends and then here you go, you take it out on the gay community or whatever like that. It’s just something that… the staff don’t help them. period.

TFSR: It seems like in some prison systems, there’s pretty active collusion between social disruption in space and the guards because by creating factions and pitting them against each other, and using snitches and whatever, it means that they can stop prisoners from organizing together. In Alabama, like anywhere, people don’t get along sometimes, but it has a really active history of prisoners getting together and making some noise, which is really impressive.

Did you see much participation in the strike in September? Or was it pretty spotty?

GG: It was pretty spotty. Because you had different factions. Like people gotta use different coolers and people can’t drink out of this water and stuff like that. So it’s separation. That’s what they want. They want us to have separation. They know that people don’t follow the rules or whatever like that, and they know it. Violence comes behind that. If they would come in and step in and do their job how they supposed to do it, we wouldn’t be having all these violent episodes. It’s something that they could have stopped. They curate it. Look at the conditions, you know? You have hopeless thoughts.

When you see nothing changing, people escape to do drugs. That’s why you have OD’s, because they try to escape it another way. But we don’t talk to no counselors. We don’t have none of that. We are supposed to have a mental health person come be able to talk to us every time, but we don’t see nobody. I’ve been here at this prison for over six months, now. I haven’t seen a classification officer yet. They don’t care. Once they send you here, they send you here. They don’t help, there is no help here.

So people like us, we gotta stay strong with each other and this is what we come up with. We are calling out for help. The people that’s listening and stuff like that, just know that all of us ain’t no bad people. We’ve made some mistakes and stuff like that, you know? We need help.

TFSR: Besides talking about what’s going on, do you have senses of what you want that help to look like from people? Should they be contacting the government? Should they be trying to get jobs at the prison to make it better? Or should they be trying to just send money into to folks? Or listening? Or what what would be helpful?

GG: The helpful part is dealing with people that we can contact. That will make us stronger, when we got a connection with each other and we all on the same page and I’m not sending you on a wild goose chase. I know that y’all have timing in the world, just like in here. You guys have a lot of stuff going on too, but we don’t want to send y’all on a wild goose chase. Contacting the prison,… keep doing it in mass. They hate publicity, they hate being on the news, they hate all that type of stuff.

So yeah, they might try to retaliate on us, but I’m in motion, I’m on a move like I don’t care what they do. I want change. Sometimes we have to go through the things that we have to go through to get change. I’m one of the participants that’s willing to go through whatever they get, to get some type of change. Because all we see is our friends going out in body bags. I’ve seen three people that I’ve literally had a conversation with a couple of days before they died and now they gone.

They walk past us. The officers walk past us, it ain’t their fault. They understaffed too. But something got to be done. They are scared to say something. You got some officers that are willing to participate and expose some of this stuff. But they want to cover their job because they got to feed their family, too. So I don’t look at them to break their neck for us and stuff like that, because this is a bigger problem. They know it’s a bigger problem.

TFSR: So has it been brought up that there aren’t officers around and people aren’t getting check-ins about their wellness or about their status changing. I think Michael had brought up that there was an issue with paroles, actually. This is the thing that I had heard in past chats with with folks inside or supporters, is that parole boards just aren’t getting people out. If there’s no programs, as has been mentioned, how do you get the the recognition that “you’ve made changes and you’re a better person should be that out” or whatever?

GG: That’s the answers and questions that we try to get from the commissioner, from the people that’s running the ADOC. “What do we have to do? What’s the criteria to make parole?” There’s no criteria. Y’all get paid, y’all are getting funded for these programs, but these programs, we’re not doing them. We don’t even step out of our dorm.

The only time when we step out that dorm is when they call “chow.” It’s like a controlled movement for the past year since COVID. They got us in real controlled movement. Why you think it’s so violent now? Because they have us so bunched up, there ain’t nothing to do. You got people that want to get a trade, you got people stuck inside these buildings that want to do something, but we ain’t able to do nothing. They only thing they feed us is, “We are short staffed.” Well, that’s not our problem. So how can we get to our fam? You know? We got Mike right here.

TFSR: Right. Thank you.

MK: Yeah, Bursts.

TFSR: Hey, Michael, so we talked a little bit about how difficult it is to get programs or anything towards parole. How the parole setup is just an absolute joke. I know that there’s discussion in a lot of states around the country, I don’t want to take it out of the situation that you all are experiencing, but a lot of activists have put in a lot of energy to get changes made in different States around the definition and like taking the ‘slavery clause’ out of the Constitutions and making sure that that term isn’t in there. That labor extraction is not in there tied to people being put in prison.

But even if you all aren’t working, you’re still being fed crappy food in small portions, you’re still in dangerous situations, you’re still being denied medical visitation, you don’t have programs, what what would you like to see? What do you see as next steps for alleviating the pain that so many of y’all are going through?

MK: It’s like this: I know Gerald was talking about these people, they have families to take care of out there, so they work here. Some of them, they might not be as bad at the other ones. But the slave has to take care of his family, too. My whole thing is this here: Of course, we are talking about the conditions as though we want to be living in better conditions. But they are not going to change. As long as prisons exist, it’s just the nature of prisons. It’s not going to change. So the only thing I know to do is to abolish prisons and to destroy prisons. That’s it.

The best thing that I know that we can do here, regardless of what the constitution say, regardless of what the law say, is how we relate to each other. That’s the only thing that’s going to change anything is how us prisoners relate to each other. How people on the outside relate to each other, and relate to us in here, and how we relate to those out there. The only thing that’s gonna change anything is our relationships. The longer we continue to discriminate against people because they are gay, queer, trans, white, Black, we are going to continue to have these problems and prisons are going to continue to exist.

So the best thing to do is find some kind of way to abolish the State, because that’s the only way we can abolish prisons.

TFSR: That’s the answer I was hoping you were gonna give. **laughs**

MK: Yeah, yeah, yeah. They took it out of the constitution in Alabama. There was like four or five states that had a slavery clause removed. Regardless if they got a slavery clause or not, it doesn’t even matter. United States constitution will come right back and say that it makes sense that you can practice slavery or because of what you just said in the first clause, that it was outlawed. So it’s a conundrum.

TFSR: You’re trying to get out, right? Through legal measures.

MK: Yes.

TFSR: Do you want to talk about that at all? I can get with other folks on your support group to see what is good for like fundraisers, but what would you like to say about that process?

MK: Oh, well, I had just recently hired me an attorney, I had one a couple years before but he didn’t do his job. What I’m trying to do now, I’m trying to get back in court on a sentence reduction. It’s the most favorable thing for people who get the kind of time I got and did kind of years I had. In the county that I was sentenced under, Johnson County, has been the most favorable county for doing this. That’s all I’m trying to do is just trying to get back in court on a sentence reduction. My past few years, I’ve been trying to keep a clean disciplinary file. I’ve been up for parole nine times. Well, 11 times now. I got turned down and they put me on five more years. The way that works out is that there is no particular criteria, so you can’t challenge it in court. That’s why we haven’t been successful. There’s no statute or nothing that says that, “You got to do this” and then they have to do this to let you out after so many years. They don’t have none of that.

What they do have is: they have a parole board that consists of a State Trooper, a Parole Officer, the Assistant DA, they got a group called a “victim’s rights goup” that’s speaks at everybody’s parole hearing. What they’re doing at the parole hearing is they’re going up, regardless of if they know the person or not. It has nothing to do with their individual cases or nothing. They just speak on everybody’s case.

At my last parole hearing, my attorney and a couple of my supporters told me that 40 people went up there and nobody made it. Nobody. Some people had done 30 years and hadn’t had any disciplinaries, and everything was in order, and they can’t understand why they refused to give them parole. There’s more people going out in body bags that are making parole in Alabama. So the only thing I’m trying to do now is get back in court on this petition here for a sentence reduction. According to my attorney, I got 85% chance. That should happen this year, Bursts

TFSR: Fingers crossed. All right. That’s awesome.

I’ll find information for the show notes about where we can direct people if they want to give donations for that. Even lawyers acting for free, it costs them money to file paperwork and such. Fingers crossed on that.

MK: I wish I had Eric King’s lawyer! I read their transcript from the interview. They are awesome.

TFSR: Yeah, yeah. I’ll poke the CLDC and see if they if they have the capacity.

MK: Not many people beat these cases.

TFSR: Yeah, right?! The fact that they were able to get a federal judge, not a prison judge, obviously, but it’s just a federal judge to say, “yeah, you need to stop fucking with him.” It was so obvious when they spilled coffee in his room when he wasn’t even there and said a bird came in and did it.

MK: You know, I have three of those: Assault on officers [charges] that I got more time on for that since I’ve been locked up. Man, I know how hard it is to beat these folks [charges]. Yeah. He was able to beat them. Even though they came with all the ridiculous stuff and they was able to beat him. I’ve never seen that. I’ve never seen that. Not here. Now when they say one of us assaulted, we always get time.

TFSR: Yeah. Yeah, that’s how it’s set up for. Right?

MK: Yeah.

TFSR: Oh, I just got a letter from him. He’s actually getting letters and I’ve been sending zines to him too, folks have been sending him books. So for the first time in years, he can have visits from his family. It’s amazing. I’m glad of that. But he’s at the ADMax in Florence. He’s at the highest security prison in the country, I think.

But yeah, we gotta get you out.

MK: Yeah. Well, I’m gonna get myself out before I get too old.

TFSR: Yeah. Is there anything else that I didn’t ask about that you want to talk about?

MK: Yeah, what I wanted to do, is for the person that was involved in, I just want to say how grateful I am, man. For what they were able to do for us and helping out. For years, I did the law stuff, the lawsuits, and the criminal court stuff, I did all that stuff for years. Mainly because I came out of the old Black radical Marxist tradition. So when I came out of it, my thinking started to change. What I started doing is coming up with ideas of what I think that can change how we relate to each other in here that make it better for us. The only thing that will make it better in here for us, is us.

So that was one of the things that I start intervening in. I started about two years ago. My partner at one time used to be a Crip, a gang member. I was Holman [prison]. What they did at the time was they would take all the ex-gang that became gay, they started kidnapping them. They started bringing them in their dorm, holding them in the dorm. This is a gang prison. It was really ran by gangs. They would prostitute themselves out, working for the gang. That’s the first time I had to pay to get her up out of that dorm. That’s when I started doing these types of intervention. Then I started a shoe program. Where one comrade coming out of Chicago, we had shoes, tennis shoes, and boots for people who couldn’t afford them. These are the kinds of things that I’m into. Some real practical stuff.

A lot of people don’t want to hear all this stuff. All these ideas floating around, these big ideas floating around. People want to be released.

TFSR: So how do you deal with situations like paying off folks debt? How do you avoid just being held ransom, like somebody recognizing, “Oh, you have access to a source of income, we could just do this over and over again.”

MK: Matter of fact, about a month ago, I thought they were going to black bag me, but it just hasn’t gotten to that point yet. I have always been able to come up and pay it off. Basically, when I say I was gonna do it by some time, it might be a week or two late they might add an extra few dollars on, but it’d be taken care of. I haven’t had another problem. But the problem with that is that some of them, they go back. They get to borrowing money or go back to the drugs. Not everybody, but majority of them do. But even if just one or two want to stop, that’s two lives you saved. That’s two lives.

TFSR: I can totally imagine people just having to lean on drugs just to shut the world down for a little bit. It seems like that’s a way to…

MK: You know, they use the drugs down here too because they control us with the drugs. They got drugs down in the prisons that they didn’t have when I first came. They didn’t even exist. You got fentanyl in here, they got all the psychrotrophic drugs to get high on, they got flakka , and all these other different type drugs, and the hallucinogenics. You got people just laid out.

The warden and the police they just walk by like they don’t even see them. People are just laid out naked. Here a guy just the day before yesterday was just standing in front of the door. Just standing in the dorm, it was the dorm that Gerald was staying in. He was there with all his drawers pulled all the way down with his butt cheeks apart. He was hallucinating. He’d get whooped for that because people feel like that’s disrespectful. But see, I understand what’s going on. So, I don’t feel like he needs to be whooped. What needs to happen is he needs to pull his clothes up and taken somewhere and come down.

TFSR: Yeah, drink some tea.

MK: Yeah, but these guys get kicked down and beaten with a belt. They took his mattress and all his stuff and just threw it outside and the police they say nothing. They put them in a cot, threw all of his stuff on top of him and just brought him outside. It’s brutal and cruel.

The drugs and the money… some of these guys are making some real money off these drugs. You got dudes calling real shots in here. You got people putting hits on people. The crip gang had put a hit on me, because of what I was saying about my partner at Holman. They put a hit on me.

TFSR: That’s scary.

MK: Yeah. So you know and then you can’t go to now or the cap guy came outrun Boost Mobile, AT&T and all. They had it was solid they could call in I’m not affiliated with nothing. They look at me, I’m just an old person. They don’t care nothing about me, nothing about what I did, nothing about what I do. They don’t care about none of that. All they care about is their pocket. Everybody wants to be a millionaire.

Anything else you want to know?

TFSR: You writing anything these days?

MK: Yeah. I’m still writing for Fire Ant. The only thing I have been putting out lately thought is explaining the stuff that has been going over here. That’s it. I haven’t been doing any other major writing or anything like that.

TFSR: A new issue just came out and they’re sending like 50 of them to us, so we’re going to try to send them out to some folks too.

Well, it’s good that you’re building feelings of solidarity between folks too. Helping them out.

MK: Yeah. You got a different affiliation gangs and stuff like that, but sometimes it’s like, “Man we might need to start our own god damn gang.” For real. If you a gay person, whatever happens to you here… don’t nobody care. They call you a fuck boy. So whatever happens to you, you deserve it. They look at gay people as lower than rats. Snitches. Yeah. This is the first time I’ve seen it. It’s the first time I’ve seen prisoners working for the police. Stabbing people for the police. Beating, jumping on people for the police.

It wasn’t too long ago, about three or four weeks ago, [someone] stole some stuff off a commissary truck. It ain’t got nothing to do with of the guys in here. But you know these guys… They went and got these guys, and jumped on these guys and took them to the police, because these guys went and stole the stuff off the truck.

These people here got keys. The police don’t open the doors. Inmates open doors. This is something they’ve never did. They never did this. In about 38 years, I’ve never seen it like in here. They don’t care. They don’t give a fuck what we do as long as we don’t go outside that gate. Do anything you want to do inside. They be out here grilling till three o’clock in the morning sometimes.

TFSR: So they’re like a little mini State, basically, a colony.

MK: Yeah. I want to get that picture for you to show you what is going on out here. I’m gonna get some of these clips and send them to you.

TFSR: Yeah, please do. Please do.

MK: Maybe a different clip. We going to just send them to the email.

TFSR: Yeah, that sounds good.

MK: You’ll see the stuff that’s going on. I’ll tell you that we was outside during the interview, right? One of the guys… He was what we call ‘wiggin.’ He was walking around, bent over, started throwing up just in the middle of nowhere.

TFSR: Just having a bad reaction to drugs?

MK: Yeah, yeah.

TFSR: If you send those clips, just make sure to note if you want them shared or not, so that I know what to do.

MK: Anything we send, you can share. It was nice talking to you.

TFSR: Yeah, you too. And it was nice meeting Gerald. I’ll definitely put his contact information in. He gave me his number and stuff like that. So I’ll put that in here. We’ll be in touch. Michael, take care and I’ll talk to you soon, okay?

MK: He wants some penpals. Okay.

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JJ Ayers at Winnemucca Indian Colony Transcription

TFSR: Would you please introduce yourself to the audience with your name, your location, preferred pronoun, any sort of affiliation that would help them understand who you are.

JJ Ayers: All right. My name is Jim Ayers. Jimmy J Ayers. I was born and raised in Winnemucca, Nevada, I lived here all my life. I’m 63 years old. And I’ve lived on the Winnemucca indian colony since 1980. I grew up and went to school here, worked here all my life, and we never had no problems on the Indian colony. I was a tribal chairman a couple of times for the tribal council. I’ve been on the tribal council several different times. That’s where I’m from.

TFSR: So you if you were on the tribal council a couple of times, and you were the chairman, can you talk about what happened in 2012 or 2011 with the tribal council and why it is that they’re now deciding that people like you and your neighbors aren’t allowed to be on the Indian colony?

JJ Ayers: Okay, In 2012 we had a tribal council. It was Jeremy Ayers, Linda Ayers, Alan Amber, Cheryl Applegate-Lawson, and Rosemary Thomas. We were the official tribal council in 2012.

Well, one Sunday, about just before noon we were all sitting in church and we had an alarm system on our Tribal Administration Building and our alarm system went off. My sister says, “Oh, I’ll be back to church. I’m gonna go shut it off.” She ran over there and by the time she got there, Judy Rojo and Bob McNichols, and all these goon squads that are kicking us off the Indian colony right now were over on our tribal building, they broke into the building and changed the locks. My sister went over there and they were going to try to throw her in jail for resisting arrest. They did eventually, but they didn’t get her for like three or four hours, because in her office, she has a steel door, and she just went in there and locked the door. They can’t get her out of there. But there was some guys from AIM from California, there was probably about 30 people armed with tasers and guns and everything and they were going to take over our Indian colony.

So what they did is they went in that tribal building and took all the files and records and our computers and all of our tools. Just took everything out of that building they could put it in a U-Haul and hauled it off. Then they went over to our smoke shop because we had a tobacco shop, we were selling cigarettes there for at least 20 to 30 years. We had a whole bunch of money from selling cigarettes in the bank. They were trying to take over our cigarette shop, but the gal in the cigarette shop did the same thing. She locked the door and they can’t get in there. She held them off for like three days, but she was an old lady and she needed her medication and stuff. So, finally she had to come out and then they took over our smoke shop too. After they took over our smoke shop, they were telling us that we didn’t have no rights and they’re going to kick us off to Indian Colony. They were the new tribal council.

How they got power is by a BIA superintendent. These people that took over the Indian colony never ever lived on the Indian colony. None of them are even from Nevada. All of them are white folks, they don’t got no tribal enrollment numbers or no Indian ID cards, and they’re in current control of our Indian colony today as we speak. Judy Rojo’s the name of the tribal chairman, but she thinks she’s like a president or something. She don’t even go by the Indian bylaws that we have. All Indian colonies have bylaws. She don’t go by no bylaws, she makes up her own laws as she goes. She got a bunch of crooked lawyers, crooked judges, she hired her own police, she has her own private police, and she has the BIA police in her pocket to do her dirty work for her.

The reason she got power is because… We took them to the Ninth District Court and we beat them. They were supposed to stop and turn the colony back over to us back about three summers ago. They never did, they just kept on rolling with their businesses. They started a marijuana dispensary shop under the name of Winnemucca Indian Colony, also. They’ve been making a million dollars a year off that place probably. They’ve been running that Dispensary for 13 years now.

So now they changed the name from the Winnemucca Indian colony. We had a deal. They were supposed to get 60% of the profit and they were supposed to give 40% of the profit to the residents on the Indian colony which was back then like 26 families. Now it’s down to like 24 families. A lot of people died from old age. But out of 20 some odd families, they kicked out 14 families. The families that refused to sign their contract and pay $400 a month to rent. There’s like five families up on the Indian colony right now that pay their rent and they could stay there. But everybody that didn’t pay their rent was getting evicted. They kicked us all off.

The BIA police beat up one young man, he’s probably about in his late 30’s. Beat him up. He had to take his grandma to Reno to the hospital and then when he tried to come back home to her home, they wouldn’t let him even go through. They got the colony barricaded off. They guarded one entrance on Bell Street and then on South Street, there’s only two entrances on the whole Indian colony. They got South Street locked with these big chain link fences and a padlock and cement blocks. That streets totally blocked off. They said that they got the Indian colony locked down to all public people except for approved residents.

So they won’t let the mailman come on here. They won’t let the electric people come on here. I tried to get wood delivered to my place, my son’s house, and they stopped the wood delivery. I could get no propane either. Same thing with propane. I tried to get propane delivered. No way they won’t let nobody go through. They said we don’t need propane because we don’t live there no more. My house got burned down. I don’t know. I think they burned it down, but I sure can’t prove it. But there was three big fires up here on this Indian colony. Barbara Mill’s house. She died and somebody burned down her house. I think it was Judy Rojo and Bob McNichols.

Then they are building a Tribal Administration Building, because we got 20 acres in town, and we got 320 acres up by water Canyon. They were building a Tribal Administration Building. They’re building some low income houses up there, too. They got about six of them built now.

TFSR: Is that for tribal members? Or is that for someone else?

JJ Ayers: They said it was supposed to be for tribal members, but they’re kicking all their tribal members out of there, so I don’t know. For their eligible tribal members, none of those people even live in Nevada, and none of them could even prove they’re Indian. But that’s their eligible voters. They got 26 eligible voters. And when we were on council, we had like 170 people that could vote. So these guys are really coyote and they’re just banking all that Indian money in from the dispensary in our smoke shop. Then they found out they can’t sell cigarettes because they didn’t have a cigarette license. We had a cigarette license, our tribal council, so they bulldozed down our trailer after they sold out all of our cigarettes and put us out of business so we can make no more money.

TFSR: Jimmy, did you mention that when like 30 or 40 people came out from California, did you say that they were like American Indian Movement, AIM, working with the BIA?

JJ Ayers: Yep, it was American Indian Movement (AIM). Today, they say they close that chapter and those guys don’t act like that anymore, but I really don’t know. I don’t really know those guys that well, you know what I mean? I imagine they got chapters all over just like a biker gang or something like that, I would think.

TFSR: Do you know where that chapter was from? The one that they said they closed?

JJ Ayers: California somewhere, Northern California. That’s all I know.

They built those houses up there. They burned down my place, burned down Barbara’s place, they burned down the Tribal Administration place. I’m pretty sure it was them, because all the fires have the same trademark. There was a big loud boom and then 30 foot flames in the air. Plus the fire department, they wouldn’t let the fire department put it out until the BIA cops give them permission to go on the Indian colony. He had to come from McDermott, which is 40 minutes away.

Meanwhile, the fire has burned in full steam for 40 minutes, by the time the firemen put their hoses out and hook up to the deal, that’s another two hours. By then your places burned up. My place, they didn’t even try to put out. They just let it burn. It burned from one in the afternoon till 11:45, maybe 12 at night. It caught up three other times early in the morning. They had to come and spray water on it again.

But after they burned down my house, then they got a court order to ban me from going on to the property to get my stuff that didn’t get burned up. They got cameras on the tribal building right across the street from my lot, and if I got caught going up there, they’re gonna hold me to contempt of court.

TFSR: You lost a couple of animals in that fire too, right?

JJ Ayers: I lost three dogs and a cat. Me, my girlfriend, Ed and my son, the four of us were living there. We lost everything we own. Everything, clothes, papers, titles, everything got burned up except for a few items in the yard that the flames didn’t get. Not one of these tribal Indians tried to help us after we lost everything. They didn’t even bring us a case of water, didn’t bring us no food. Nothing. You know what they did? They got a court order to kick us off the reservation. How’s that? That’s pretty low life to me, I think.

TFSR: Yeah. It seems like there’s been stuff going through the courts for a bit around these banishments and around evictions. I had spoken to Kyle last week, and I think that might be who you’re talking about who took his grandma to the doctors and got attack.

JJ Ayers: They tased him and beat him up. He’s in jail. He’s just getting out today. They sent him over to Reno Jail on Park Boulevard, and he’s just gonna get out of jail today. I don’t know what his bail was but I’m sure was a whole bunch. They dropped the trespassing charge and just got him for resisting arrest and not obeying the police officers orders or something like that.

TFSR: Kind of sounds like the same thing, but it’s funny how they just trump up a bunch of charges all at once.

So, the next step, the next legal step, at least, is the ITCAN Court that had a hearing last Thursday. They decided to change the link on the Zoom meeting for it, I guess beforehand. Was there a conclusion from that? Or the judges still discussing it?

JJ Ayers: We’ve got it in appeals court right now. And that’s another thing. They do court over a phone and all of us senior citizen Indians up here… we don’t have very good phones and we can’t even go on court to listen to our damn court, and what’s going to happen.

Another thing, when they served us papers to evict us off the Indian colony and stuff. They never served them to hand in hand. They threw them out in the damn street and zip tied them to the fences. Not one of us got served hand to hand, none of them.

A couple of people up here don’t even have lawyers. They didn’t even know they were getting kicked off the Indian colony. They just came in with the BIA police and herded them out like a bunch of cows out of the roundup corral. They were like, “You guys gotta leave. We don’t care where you leave. We don’t care what to do, but you’re not staying here.” Elders had to leave their medicine, their clothes, everything in their homes. They just had to leave right then and there. So that’s another big issue we’re having, trying to get a medicine and their clothes and food and lodging. We don’t have none of that and they kicked us out right before the holidays. Those young kids, they don’t even got a Christmas tree or no presents. All the Indian kids have got ran off.

TFSR: Where are those elders and folks staying right now? Are they still in the motels?

JJ Ayers: Yeah, all of us are pitching in and we got a GoFundMe for the Winnemucca Indian colony. We’ve got them in motels, but it’s been hard, because we’re not getting that much money for them. We’re still trying to feed them, we’re taking the meals and stuff. Whatever we could afford. All of us are disabled, so most of us lived off of commodities. They stopped the commodities on the Indian colony back in 2012, they won’t even let the Indians get commodities on the Indian colony, we had to go to our church, or to a senior citizen place a block away, to meet the truck to get our commodities. These guys are messed up bad.

TFSR: Is the GoFundMe that you mentioning get the SSSM to Winnemucca Indian colony’ fundraiser? I see somebody posted it in December. I’ll post that for sure and share that. Hopefully, that will get more donations. There’s a CashApp too that folks have been sharing, I know the water protector legal support was passing around $DefendWIC.

JJ Ayers: Those guys are raising money for motels and food for the elders.

TFSR: Yeah. So you’re packing up stuff right now so that if an eviction happens, you at least have your stuff, it doesn’t get destroyed, is that right? Or are you planning on leaving?

JJ Ayers: Yes. I’m just not listening to their laws. They’ll probably beat me up and taze me too any day. So I’ll probably be in jail. I probably won’t even be able to talk to you next. But the cops haven’t rat-packed me yet, but I’m sure they will. Because I’m like seventh generation on that Indian colony. They named the streets after my great grandmother and stuff. I’m staying at my son’s place, that’s where my great great grandmother died, in her house. My other grandma died right across the street from there. Her name was Irene Leyva. So I’ve been up here all my life. You know what I mean? Since 1980. It’s been a long time.

All my family, they outnumber how many legal voters the tribal council has. I got like 48 family members that could vote. They only have 29 eligible voters. So that’s why they’re trying to get me out of there, because they know I could be in power over the dispensary or we can, our family.

The residents should be in control over that stuff. That’s what I’m saying. You know what I mean? It’s not just ‘I,’ it’s not just me, It’s we, us. All of us elders that lived here forever, we should have say what’s going on on this Indian colony. Instead of having any say, we got booted to the street with crooked cops, crooked counsel, crooked lawyers, crooked judges. They all passed those ordinances so we could get removed. And it ain’t right.

I got a lawyer named Sandra Freeman, she’s from Colorado. She represents me, but my son, and my sister and my brother, they all need lawyers, because they don’t have any representation. So they got kicked off the Indian colony on December 2. But we never left. My family is still up there. We just barricaded the doors and we don’t answer the door. When the cops come we won’t answer it. We just stay in the house.

TFSR: That’s hard. What’s the weather like out there right now?

JJ Ayers: The weather is super cold here. It’s been below freezing for the last two weeks. It’s been in single and teens for the low. My waters been frozen for a week straight. We have to haul water. I have animals.

That’s another thing. I got four dogs and they’re trying to tell me I gotta get rid of my dogs or they’re gonna haul them off to the shelter if they catch them. So it’s been really hard up here for us. We’re just looking for some legal help and maybe some funds so we can get through the winter.

It’s the worst time of the year Christmas, we will get booted to the street. I can’t believe these guys. They are heartless, man. These guys have no souls. All they think about is money, money, money, that’s it. They stole all of our money and they’re trying to take more of it. Now, they’re not happy with that, they want to take our homes away. Kick us out to the streets.

TFSR: For anyone that’s listening that is a lawyer or that knows a lawyer, if your lawyer’s in Colorado, did they just have to be barred at a federal level or specifically around…?

JJ Ayers: I think they got to be educated in the Indian law and tribal courts.

TFSR: Should they reach out to Sandra and the Water Protector Legal Collective? Or is there a better place for them to put their attention?

JJ Ayers: Sure, I think that’s a good start. They can talk to Sandra, my lawyer, or the WPLC in the Nevada legal systems. They’re representing some of the elders on the Indian colony.

TFSR: I can definitely direct folks to the resources that I did last time, and then check in with Sandra too, because she’s connected.

You were saying before that you’re having to move all this stuff and pack stuff up and keep vigilant. So it’s got to be real hard to think about those extra things.

JJ Ayers: I don’t got no help with gas money. I don’t even have no muscle help, because they won’t let nobody go into the Indian colonies to help me. And yet, they want me to move everything out in a couple of hours. They’re like, “We’ll give you a couple hours to move your stuff.” I lived there since 1980. How could I move my stuff in a couple of hours? There ain’t no way.

TFSR: Since the stay on house destruction and eviction, have they been destroying more houses? Or are they holding off until the courts?

JJ Ayers: As soon as they get us out of our houses, they’re going to bulldoze down all of our houses and probably build condos and rent them to the lithium miners. Probably that’s my guess. That probably won’t even be in Indian colony after they run all the Indians off. They’ll probably change it to a white man’s “Water Canyon Estates” or some BS or something like that. A close gated community. That’s what I’m thinking they’re gonna do.

TFSR: Is something like this happening on their reservation too, or is this just the Indian colony that you can tell?

JJ Ayers: Well, I don’t know. I’m not on the reservation. All we have is an Indian colony.

TFSR: I guess, I thought that was the larger place that Kyle was mentioning.

JJ Ayers: 320 acres. They didn’t let nobody move up there. They just got a construction business that sells gravel. They are trying to build an administration building. They got a $900,000 grant to build houses. They got six houses up, they’re starting to build. They already built two on the 20 acres. The 20 acres is smack center in Winnemucca, Nevada. It’s right in the center of town. So that’s some prime land that those guys are trying to take from us.

TFSR: They aren’t even offering like, “Hey, y’all can move over to this other spot.” It’s just, “You’re not our problem. Get out!”

JJ Ayers: Those 320 acres up there, they don’t got no water, no power, no sewer, nothing like that. But where we’re at, all of us have that hooked up already. So that’s why they want to build where we’re at, because they got power, sewer and water. So they could slap those condos up real quick, start renting them out and make more money. So by us sticking around there, messing them up, messing up their plans. You know what I mean? I’m gonna mess up their plans because I’m not leaving. I belong there. I got proof: I got birth records, I got death certificates of my Indian heritage and my family. Those guys, that Judy Rojo, the tribal council lady, claims she is related to me, but she isn’t. That’s what she claims. She claims to be related to me and then tells me I’m a non-Indian, a squatter, a trespasser. Ain’t that something.

TFSR: People have been asking you in court scenarios for her to prove it, right?

JJ Ayers: Yeah. She won’t prove it either. That’s what we need. That’s how we won the Ninth District Court and the Supreme Court. Because those guys asked her, “Where’s your blood? Where’s your Indian card?” And asked if she ever lived on the Indian colony. She answered no to all those and then we beat them in the Ninth District Supreme Court. They were supposed to shut down and they never did. So, by all rights, Judy Rojo and her tribal council have been in contempt of court for three years now, because they never stopped doing their business.

I have a restraining order against Judy Rojo, Bob McNichols, and all their tribal council, and the BIA police. They won’t recognize it, they say it’s no good. I got that from a judge in Oklahoma City. She was an Indian judge. Her name was Marsha Harlan. She gave me that restraining order when we first started fighting with these idiots. I still have copies of it, but nobody abides by it. They just come and do whatever they want. They don’t give a shit.

See it’s funny. Those guys don’t have to abide by the law, but we do. And I don’t get it. How come Judy Rojo and Bobby Nichols and their tribal eligible members don’t have to abide by Indian law? But the elders that lived here all of our lives, have to abide by it and move out. That just don’t make sense to me at all. I don’t get it. Nobody else gets it either. But these guys are just doing whatever they want. And we need to stop them in their tracks because this ain’t right. This ain’t human. They’ve violated every civil rights we have. They’re still violating more of them right now as I speak.

TFSR: I’m really sorry that y’all are going through this.

JJ Ayers: I really appreciate your help.

TFSR: Good luck, JJ.

JJ Ayers: Thanks for listening to me.

Stop Evictions at Winnemucca Indian Colony

Stop Evictions at Winnemucca Indian Colony

Kyle's family home boarded up by order of Winnemucca Tribal Council, snow surround it
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On Tuesday, December 13th, I spoke with Kyle Missouri, a resident of the Winnemucca Indian Colony in Humboldt County, Nevada where a longstanding conflict between residents and the Winnemucca Tribal Council has come to a head recently with the evictions of elders, youths, and other residents into the snow. We talk about his family’s roots in the Indian Colony, some background on the place and the conflict with the so-called Roja Council, the contested lithium mine at Thacker Pass and the court challenge to evictions, banishment and house demolition this Thursday, 12/15/22. Check our show notes for links to other sources of information, ways you can show up and places you can donate.

  • You can follow Kyle on facebook under the name Kyle Missourii (like the state with an extra ‘I’ at the end)
  • Also see interviews with Elders who’ve been evicted and updates on Instagram at @Neweneensokopa
  • Learn more about background and legal support by following Water Protector Legal Collective on social media and more at linktr.ee/waterprotectorlegal
  • And donate to the cashapp for supporting displaced families at $defendWIC. They’re looking for more lawyers who can support the efforts as well as journalists who can be on the ground and talking about this situation or reaching out for interviews.
  • You can watch the court hearing this Thursday linked in the latest update at Water Protector Legal Collective’s website, waterprotectorlegal.org
  • Kyle’s recent interview with The B&B Indigenous Podcast (appearing about an hour 8 minutes in)

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Featured Track:

  • Skirmish (Niveau Zero Remix) by Filastine from Looted

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Transcription

The Final Straw Radio: Could you please introduce yourself for the audience with any name, location information, preferred gender pronouns, anything that will help get the audience awareness of who you are?

Kyle Missouri: Yeah, no problem. My name is Kyle Missouri. I was born in Winnemucca, Nevada. The first few years of my life, I lived in McDermott. But then I moved back to Winnemucca because that’s where my grandma’s lives, and she has a house there. So that’s where I grew up. And at the moment, I’m unemployed, because it’s been stressful and I’ve been worried about leaving my house, because there were points, with this whole thing going on, that people were afraid their house might just get destroyed when they’re gone.

TFSR: Yeah. And so like, this is kind of just going to be standing alone, I can do a little introduction, but for the sake of introduction to what’s been happening, can you talk a bit about why you’re afraid of house destruction or eviction going on? And, yeah, you’ve already mentioned that your grandma lives there, but you also live there as well, right?

KM: It’s actually considered her main residency, because it’s her house, that’s where she gets her mail and stuff, too. But she stays in Reno, but in her daughter’s house, for medical reasons, because she’s 88 years old right now.

TFSR: But what happened this week, to make you afraid that a house is gonna get destroyed?

KM: Okay. Well, I mean, there’s a lot leading up to it. But specifically this week, what I believe it was December 2, we had a court appearance, which I didn’t know about until afterwards. And I assumed it was a status update on the ongoing court case that’s been going on. But to my surprise, I learned later on, from Facebook, that there was an order put in place for evictions, banishment, and a fine of $100 a day starting from December 11, 2021. So right now it’s over $36,000. And they’ve known just to come in and do whatever they want, make up rules and just go by him.

TFSR: So can you give some context for the Winnemucca Indian colony? Like, what the deal is with it, how it came to be? Who all lives there and the like?

KM: Yeah. See, the Winnemucca Indian Colony has been there for a long time, even before what they’re saying. It’s a spot where Native Americans have always been, but they didn’t take a census on it and try to establish a colony until I believe 1916, where they had a list of people who are living there and names. But originally, the colony — or reservation I believe it was at first — was a two spots that was purchased outside of the town of Winnemucca. But there was nothing out there, people couldn’t live out there, and it was too far from town to work. So later on, I believe 1928, around that time the president bought a parcel of land from the railroad company for homeless Native Americans in Nevada.

TFSR: Can you talk about some of the nations that live around there? And like when you say “homeless Native Americans” does that mean that folks that were kicked off of reservations, or that whatever lands were “given” were sort of retracted for the railroad? Or how does that work?

KM: Well the biggest reservation closest to Winnemucca would be Fort McDermott, which was originally a US Army fort during the roundup of Native American people. So they settled a lot of them there. And then once things kind of eased up, you know, from the government, Native Americans kind of just spread out, looking for work and places to live. And a lot of them ended up in McDermott. And there was a people, originally they called them the “sagebrush eaters”, and they used to live in that area, because it’s a range called the Santa Rosa mountains. They have the Humboldt River right there where they fished and caught ducks and stuff like that for nutrition. But in this area, it’s mostly Western Shoshone and Northern Paiute. And that’s a majority of this area, the Great Basin Native’s,

TFSR: If you have an answer to this, that’d be super helpful, but in terms of like, what’s the difference between a colony reservation? Is there one, or is it just like the size?

KM: See for my understanding is a reservation is like a larger land spot given to the Native Americans to establish a settlement basically, and a colony is something like within city limits,

TFSR: Oh okay.

KM: Because like, there’s a few colonies here in Nevada. One of them is in Reno, which is the Reno-Sparks Indian colony, and it’s like, right inside town and city limits, just a certain little spot that is established. And another good example is Ely, Nevada. They have two separate portions kind of like Winnemucca does, they have a reservation and they have a colony. The colony is right there in the middle of the town by the main street. And the reservation is just on the outskirts of the town.

TFSR: You mentioned the lawsuit at the beginning and that being the cause of these evictions that are happening and that have been escalating recently. Can you talk about what the lawsuit revolves around and who’s engaged in it and against whom?

KM: Okay, well, the main lawsuit, I believe, is just for the right to who controls the Winnemucca Indian colony, who has been established as the council and trying to find who actual members of the colony are. Because they’re basing the registration — I haven’t seen the registration — but they’re saying that it’s based on people who descend from the Native Americans who were here in 1916, who took the census, and who are at least a quarter blood Paiute or Shoshone, who don’t have any lands on any other reservation.

And the people who are fighting us as the residents, her name is Judy Rojo, her daughter Misty Dawn Rojo, and they have a contractor by the name of Bob McNichols. And apparently he was a longtime employee of the BIA, and he owns a company called RezBuilders. And they’re against the residents who’ve been here, and some of these residents were provided agreements with the council to move here. Because they were trying to fill the spots up to establish a government for the Winnemucca Indian colony.

TFSR: And so you mentioned the BIA, so that’s the Bureau of Indian Affairs, and that’s kind of like, the management agency by the federal government of Indigenous communities that are recognized, right?

KM: Yes.

TFSR: And police force, and whatever, that imposes federal law.

KM: Yes.

TFSR: So for instance, I think, to give an example of your grandma, you had mentioned in that B & B Indigenous podcast the other day that she had gotten the opportunity to buy her residence in the colony, and had paid that off, had lived in the community for over 40 years, had raised your father and raised you all, and now you’ve been taking care of her since then on that property. So she has her roots there. She worked in the hospital, as, did you say she was a nurse for a long time?

KM: Yeah, she was a nurse at the Humboldt General Hospital in Winnemucca.

TFSR: A lot of this activity revolves around representation and supposed autonomy within relation to settler colonial authorities. For the audience to understand about the question of “legalism” around that: can you talk about the Winnemucca tribal council? You’ve mentioned Rojo, she sits on it, but sort of like, anyone else that’s memorable, how they got to be there and where they live, and if they’re residents of the colony itself?

KM: Umm, with Judy, and Misty Dawn Rojo, I believe, originally from, not originally, but they have a property in Chino, California. There’s a guy named Shannon Evans, I’m not sure, I’ve never met him — I’ve never even met Judy Rojo or her daughter. And there’s a couple other people by the last name Magiera and I can’t remember the last one. But as long as I’ve been in the colony and I’ve been living there for almost 30 years, I’ve never met those people. I’ve never seen them. I don’t know who they are. I’ve heard stories of Judy Rojo, saying that she’s full blooded native, but then I’ve heard other stories saying that she’s a Hispanic woman. And the Magieras and I think Shannon Evans were considered caucasian.

TFSR: But somehow they came into the leadership of this government recognized tribal council that makes decisions on the property?

KM: Yeah, exactly. And to my surprise, every legal court we’ve gone to we’ve always asked, “Hey, can we get proof that she’s Native American?” Because as a Native American, when you’re born into the reservation and enrolled, they give you a CDIB, which stands for “certificate degree of Indian blood”, and it shows your blood quantum. Because a lot of funding and stuff like that — federal funding that goes to the reservations — goes by percentile. There’s a school in California called Sherman Indian High School that only allows Native American students in but they actually have to be at least a quarter blood of Native American.

TFSR: So like, I understand that to be kind of a way to prevent other communities from taking advantage, like making claims towards the resources — as meager at times as they are — that are provided, but like access to/profits off of businesses that are run at times, casinos or medical programs that are offered to members of the nation, right?

KM: Yes.

TFSR: So I think I read somewhere that the colony is about 20 acres. How many people have been living on the colony? How many people have resided there? Roughly.

KM: Right now, maybe a little less than 30. Because like I said, the colony’s broken up into two parts. The 20 acre spot is in the middle of the town and then I think it’s 320 acres on the outskirts of the town.

TFSR: The Tribal Council is technically in control of, in terms of how the federal government looks at them, both of those or they just for the, for the colony, like the small 20 acre.

KM: They’re actually looking at both of them but our concern is 20 acres because that’s where we live. That’s, you know, where we’ve been established for years.

TFSR: Yeah. Yeah, that makes sense.

KM: And on the other outskirts they opened up a marijuana dispensary through federal funding. And like I said, with the blood quantum, it’s usually supposed to help cases like this. Fraud, basically. Receiving money under false pretenses.

TFSR: Did they open the dispensary as a tribal business that would go to benefit the common needs of people in the community, such as elders?

KM: Yes. Yeah, they even had a vegetable garden, too. Because there’s certain residents that are allowed to stay in the colony then. And then there’s us, the residents who are evicted and banned.

TFSR: Is that banishment and eviction based on their claim that folks don’t have a paper trail or that you’re just on a place that they have eminent domain over? What are they claiming with that?

KM: Well, a lot of times that they’ve asked us in court is if we’re enrolled in another reservation. Most of us are because there’s no enrollment in Winnemucca. But there’s no rule against dual enrollment in Winnemucca. But most of us are enrolled in McDermott, which is 69 miles north of here. A couple of people are in Lovelock, and I think there’s some from Summit Lake. But the people who are on the colony — I’m related to pretty much everyone there — but they’re allowing certain individuals to stay while evicting others who are against what they were doing.

Her basis is saying that we have no claim, that we don’t have any eligibility to be part of the tribe. Even though we do, my grandma was just telling me stories about her mother, who when she was a child, she’d come to Winnemucca and spend time with her brother who lived on Winnemucca, and their mom. And my great grandmother was born in 1899, so you can only imagine how far back it goes.

TFSR: Yeah, that definitely would predate the 1916 or 1928 dates.

KM: Yeah, exactly. And then she talked about other relatives, because there’s a list of actual people on the census. And she’d look at it and say, “oh, yeah, we’re related to them, we’re related to them”. And I’m like, “of course, it’s a small area”. We’re pretty much related to everybody in this area. I mean, I got family in Owyhee, another reservation up by Idaho, Pyramid Lake. I have family, Reno Sparks, I have family and Lovelock. I have family in McDermott. I have family in California, in the Pitt River.

But what she’s doing, it amazes me, it really is colonization unfolding in front of everybody. It’s non-native people — and we’re assuming non-native because they refused to prove it, even though every member on the colony could prove because we were given an ID card saying we are — but it’s non natives coming, taking Natives off Native American land to use for their own funding, for their own good. Because I don’t know what the money is, they got COVID money too from the American Health Program. And then they got an EPA funding to clean up the reservation and I’m not even sure what else they have.

TFSR: This conflict has been going for a long time, and it seems like the conflict around questions of legitimacy and tribal governance has been going on for a couple decades in terms of that tribal council. But the Winnemucca colony lies near to Thaker Pass, which is a traditional territory, as you said, like a number of Indigenous nations in and around so-called Humboldt County, Nevada. Importantly, there are deposits of lithium clay, and that industry and the settler state want to be used for things like phones, for laptops, for electric cars, home solar relays, like those are just the things that I can think of off the top of my head that lithium is getting mined for on large scale, and other so called like “green energy” things. Is there any relation do you think between the push to “cleanse out” certain people from the colony? Do you think that there’s any relation to the push to open this mining process, or do you think it’s just another tension in the community?

KM: I’ve never haven’t seen anything like that. But I’ve heard rumors and, you know, just speculating, just kind of seeing things that are happening, it did seem like that. Because there were rumors going around that she was going to destroy all the houses and then she wanted to build condos and stuff to help the miners go back and forth from work.

And then the timing was kind of weird, just recently, because next month they have a Thacker Pass argument going on. And we just get hit with this out of nowhere. At one point — I believe that they said, I can’t be 100% — but they said that they were for the mine. Then later on, when this started getting more outreach, they were saying, oh, no, they’re against the mine. And that the BLM didn’t confer with the Winnemucca Indian colony, because a lot of the people from the colony are from McDermott, who are fighting against Thacker Pass.

But like I said, we’re all related. So, it’s a whole family thing, everybody. We got people from Hawaii at Thacker Pass, we got McDermott, we got Pyramid Lake. AIM was out there. There’s a bunch of different organizations trying to go against that. But to me, it’s oddly suspicious how it’s happening. Because when you’re going to the mine that they’re building, or they want to build, Winnemucca is the biggest town to it. Because there’s Winnemucca, then there’s actually the town of McDermott. And it goes right to the mine, so either they’re gonna stay in McDermott, or they’re going to stay in Winnemucca?

TFSR: And it seems funny if the council, like, government that’s supposed to be representative of the community…there’s no consent discussion around like, “Well, what do you all think about this thing?” Doesn’t sound very democratic.

KM: Oh, no. I’ve seen a couple of meetings in McDermott when they’re talking about it, and it just seemed completely, from what I saw, it was everybody against it. Except there’s a certain couple that were trying to vouch for it. But usually what it all comes down to is just money. That’s the, that’s the main thing that happens.

I’ve read articles on the Thacker Pass, and out of curiosity I go and look at the comments. And then maybe 90% of the comments were just talking about money, or how much someone invested or how much they think they should invest or asking why it’s being postponed, “it should be open already”. And that’s everybody’s concern. They don’t care about, you know, pretty much tribal sovereignty. Because they’ve had an appeal set in for considering it a historic land spot for the Northern Paiute Shawnees. But that was denied by the federal court.

TFSR: Like they don’t recognize it.

KM: Yeah, they said there’s just not enough evidence to base it on that.

TFSR: In that same interview that I was mentioning, the Facebook Live that you participated in, I think it brought up the display of red dresses symbolizing missing and murdered Indigenous women that were being displayed that were removed by either private contractors or law enforcement or something. And you talked about rumors, at least, that the land that’s cleared that people are being evicted from now, could be condos that would be used for housing miners. I mean, that’s basically what they call a “Man Camp”, right?

KM: Yeah.

TFSR: Can you talk about some of the concerns to your understanding of, like, why bring in the missing and murdered Indigenous women symbology to this and like, what people are afraid of with a Man Camp coming into the neighborhood?

KM: See the man camp, I think, I’m pretty sure that was debunked. There was a guy who actually had a record of showings where they actually wanted to put it. They do want to put in a Man Camp, but it’s not going to be on the colony. But I believe it’s going to be somewhere else. But it’s still dangerous. My brother used to work in the Dakotas, he worked on the pipelines there at one point, and he said guys will just get drunk on their days off, go cause problems on reservations and leave. He said they take advantage of the women there and abuse the guys and all that kind of stuff. He said he got tired of it. He quit and came back to Nevada.

But what the red dresses were up just to show solidarity for us supporting the missing and murdered Indigenous women. Because it’s a sad thing and it happens in these situations do lead to it. And the residents are ones who told me because I’ve missed it, but the residents are saying they’re tearing down the red dresses. And for what reason? If Judy Rojo is saying that she’s Native American, why would she do that? Why wouldn’t she approve of that? And we put it on the fences to show another sign, because Judy Rojo actually built a barbed wire fence, a six foot fence around the colony blocking people. Then at one point, there was a gate up there. I got locked out one time when I was coming home.

TFSR: Who was manning the gate?

KM: Bob McNichols.

TFSR: This private contractor who works with Rojo?

KM: Yeah. Like I said, he’s the owner, CEO, whatever he’d like to call himself, of the RezBuilders.

TFSR: Mhm. So getting back to the folks that were evicted — you don’t have to name anyone you don’t want to — but can you talk at least about the kinds of people that have been evicted? What’s happened to their property? And a little more about where are they at right now and what kind of conditions are they in?

KM: As of right now, they are surviving on donations that people have sent because of stories that they’re hearing or they see it firsthand. Right now they’re staying in a motel, in the casino, I believe. And they’re all there just trying to wait to see what happens.

From the beginning, one person last year, I believe it was, [her] house [was] completely destroyed. They gave her, like, a couple hours to get what she wanted and they destroyed it pretty much right in front of her. And in doing that, they actually punctured a fuel line, a gas line, and they left it open. Another time they were ripping a railing off someone’s trailer. They shut off people’s power, they shut people’s water off. They tore someone shed down. They just tried to clear everything out. And they kept saying that they have the authority to do it when they actually never did. And most of these people, like I said, are elders. They are older people that are on disability, they can’t work. One of them, he had a generator hooked up to his house to keep himself warm. I gave him firewood, when I had a tree that I cut down, I gave him firewood.

They’re usually on disability, Social Security. My neighbor’s on disability, but at least he got to stay because he’s not very mobile. And then there’s small kids. And I know a couple of them are on the spectrum, I believe. And they don’t know what’s going on, you know? They’re just wondering why they can’t go home. They destroyed a house last year — which was put on Facebook, a lot of people saw them while they were destroying the house — they destroyed it and they kicked the guys out. And then they didn’t allow them to get all their stuff, but they threw all their stuff on the ground and told them they could pick it up later.

Then there was a building on there for tribal meetings, stuff like that — they’ve had court there at times before — that they turned into a jail. They put in a wall, they put in cells. And I don’t even think there would be any kind of regulation on that. I don’t think that’d be approved by any kind of authority. Because you have to have certain things to be able to be considered a jail, and government operated. And I don’t think they’d even be able to do that in that small area.

TFSR: Otherwise, it’s just kidnapping.

KM: Yeah, it’s just locking someone in a house, basically. Or a building.

TFSR: I think it’s worth noting that, I mean most people are not homeowners, most people are renters in this country, to my understanding. That causes a lot of destabilization, and a house is a way that working class people can actually save some money for themselves or maybe build up a little bit of economic stability. And so going in and demolishing people’s houses without recourse is a terrible burden on people that, as you said, in a lot of cases are already on disability or unemployment or on social security because they’re retired, because they’re too old to work. Yeah, that seems like a really dangerous position to put people in.

KM: Yeah. And specifically with my grandma she was part of a program called the Mutual Help and Occupancy Program, and it’s for low income Indigenous people to actually purchase a house. And that’s what she did back in the 70’s, she got approved for it, she started paying for the house and once all the payments were up to pay for the house, the deed was signed over to her. But they’re still saying that nobody’s allowed on there but her. I was like, how does that work? She has family, she had three kids. And then right now I just found out today that they boarded up my windows and my door and my house, because I’m out of town right now. So I am going tomorrow, which is Wednesday, I’m going back, because that’s my expected time, and I’m going home. I don’t care what they say, I’m gonna go take down all the boards, whatever they did and go home. That’s where I pay my bills. I was raised there. I was born in Winnemucca.

But other people are probably gunna get it worse because they brought their own trailers here. Some of them did, some of them brought their own trailers here because they were told they could stay here. And the then-counsel said, “Alright, here’s your spot, hook everything up, and you should be good”. And that’s what they did. And now they’re just destroying them.

And the thing is, everything that they say is lies. And it’s amazing how they go through court. Because at one point, Miss Judy Rojo was saying that she was related to the past chairman [JJ Ayers], then she was just saying that the chairman was her mentor, then she went back to saying her chairman. Then she was saying who she’s related to on the roster from 1916, then it kept changing. And she just refuses to give up information to prove it.

And the thing is, that was asked by the Ninth Circuit Court before, they still never answered. And they lost in the Ninth Circuit Court. So, we’re still amazed on how this is still going on with these lower courts, because we just got lowered to another court from a CFR court, because there’s different levels of courts. Then I got the update yesterday that we have another stay on the order of eviction, on Thursday, which is the 15th, in the morning for oral arguments, to say this is wrong.

TFSR: Yeah, cuz the last day order was denied by a court and then they basically said, “Alright, it’s out of our hands until it gets argued in the next court”.

KM: Yeah.

TFSR: And in the meantime, people’s houses are being destroyed while it’s still being argued.

KM: See, I’m not sure if they’re being destroyed yet. They might be waiting, but they’re restricting access to the colony. Even the people who live in Winnemucca, the BIA was pulling people over without no probable cause, just because they drive on the colony to get pulled over. And they were arresting people. I’ve seen him tow someone’s car.

TFSR: Like, obviously things are going to come to another head on Thursday when there’s these oral arguments court proceedings. Stopping the permanent eviction of people from homes is paramount. And it sounds like from what I understand, during the evictions, the Feds from different agencies were brought in and some people are already facing charges, who maybe can’t be on the ground without facing additional charges. So, there’s already a bunch of people who would be there, at least protesting or whatever, trying to stop these evictions or destruction of houses if the tribal council decides to move forward with that.

How can people who are in the area who are not already engaged offer help? What would you like for them to do?

KM: Well, like I said on my podcast, the B&B Indigenous [Podcast], right now the biggest thing that we need is legal help. Because what we have is NLS, Nevada Legal Services, which has been fighting this case with us this whole time. It’s basically a public defender’s office. So they’re probably overloaded on cases, they got to go to different areas just to defend other people. So they don’t have time, especially in case of this scope because this has been going on for decades. Legal help would probably be one one of the biggest things so we can actually fight, even if we lose the stay, or we could still file more motions.

Which, I’ve filed some motions on my own when I first got involved in 2020 again, because I was gone for a little bit, and I wasn’t actually representing till last year. So a lot of the time I was getting advice from the NLS on how to do my paperwork. But now it just seems, like I said, they have case overloads. We just needed a lot more legal help.

And, of course, we need a place to stay for them. They’ve contacted Winnemucca, like indigent services, and they said they could help to a certain point. And we’ve had people donate already. But the thing is, I don’t know if the money’s being distributed equally. Not equally, but you know, but who needs it most and who needs what. Because they do have a Cash App, but I’m not sure who actually manages that, because I’ve never needed help with the financial side. But right now, they don’t have anywhere to go so they’re staying in motels and you know how motels are, they could be expensive. You know, they need food, they need water, shelter. They probably need gas because someone’s still got to go to the store and do stuff and with the price of gas nowadays…

But I do have a Cash App, and they’re saying that it’s everybody’s, so that’s all I have right now.

TFSR: And if you want to name that Cash App, then that’s great, I’ll put it in the show notes, too.

KM: Yeah, it’s $defendWIC

TFSR: And I saw that the Water Protectors Legal Collective is helping out on this and they’ve been doing some updates on their site, which is good. Which doesn’t mean that you don’t need more legal help.

KM: Yes, that’d actually probably be the better place to reach them because they have different setups due to legal reasons. I think there’s a link on there to show exactly direct support for the elders.

TFSR: Oh awesome. Cool, cool.

KM: So, people could just go to that, too.

TFSR: I saw one thing on social media requesting for people to come and witness, especially video videographers, people who could record it. And it sounds like you’ve been doing a lot of work to talk and get the word out about what’s going on. There’s also this this Instagram page where you can see short interviews, it’s @Neweneensokopa (Newe’neen So’ko’pa), that has a lot of interviews with folks and photos from the colony. But interviews with folks who are in hotels who have been evicted talking about their story and their struggle.

And so do you need journalists to go out there? And do you want other media to be contacting you? Like, I’m kind of surprised that I haven’t heard something like this on Democracy Now! which has a pretty big reach.

KM: Oh, yes! Yeah. Last year we had a member who contacted KOLO 8-TV news which is out of Reno, Nevada — he contacted them to try and tell our story, but Judy Rojo kind of shoved her way in and just told her side of the story, and didn’t listen to any of the residents and then KOLO 8-TV just ran a story on it. And then even with the local newspaper, it was Humboldt Son at the time, I think it switched, but they ran the article too which basically showing favoritism towards Judy Rojo. With false claims of drug addicts and violent people and stuff like that. And I went on there and said “how are you going to say these people are violent and stuff when they’re old? They could barely get around, what are they gonna do?” But Judy Rojo insists that they’re violent. When that gate was up, she was insisting that they were ramming into the J rail or threatening people with a gun when nobody was even there.

TFSR: Yeah, there’s a couple of stories on the Nevada Independent that are pointed to from the Water Protectors Legal Collective, which I think seem pretty even handed, and sort of point out some of the points where the conflict is stemming from.

KM: Yeah. Because I’ve tried to ask the newspaper to run something and they were going to do it until Judy Rojo sent them another letter of what she wanted to publish, and then the newspaper said they don’t want to be involved with this.

TFSR: Yeah.

KM: They’re not going to run stories either way. So that silenced us at the same time with the community. We didn’t get an opportunity to say who we are and what we do. We didn’t get to tell our story, even though they just painted a bad picture saying lies and everybody seem to be believing them.

TFSR: Or the media platform was just like, “This sounds complicated. We don’t have the resources or interest in order to try to figure out who’s telling the truth in this”, or some sense of “fairness” of hearing both sides of a story, or whatever that is.

KM: Yeah, see, I was kind of assuming that too. And then that’s what I was thinking with the whole lithium mine thing too, because I think more eyes are going to be on that than anything, especially Nevada. Because they’ve had tons of supporters. And I’m, you know, I’m glad for that. And I hope they could get more because that’s wrong too. All this is going down and it’s wrong. And it’s all for money.

Native Americans, we didn’t have money like that when we were first here. We lived by what we had, what we took from the land, we only took what we needed. We didn’t try to take more than we needed to destroy the land because we’re a part of it. We don’t live to conquer, we live to be with it. Because that’s what we do. The earth takes care of us and we take care of the earth. But now it just seems like people are just destroying everything, destroying homes, destroying connections, destroying the land for personal gain.

TFSR: Yeah. Yep. And extraction and displacement are really, really tightly connected, right?

KM: Yeah.

TFSR: So, you said there’s the InterTribal Court of Appeals of Nevada hearing in the morning on December 15th. There’s information about how to get onto the Zoom call that’ll be in the show notes for this and that also is up on the Water Protector Legal Collective website for folks who want to see that, which is calling for a stay of the eviction and banishment, which that lower court already denied.

You’ve mentioned Cash App and sending donations, I’m sure that there’s information about donations for legal support for funding the lawyers, because it does cost money to file paperwork and do research. And getting videographers down there and media to cover this. Is there anything that we haven’t talked about in this, anything at all that you want to bring up?

KM: From the legal sense not really. There’s still, to me, there’s still a lot of hearsay. And I’ve tried to stay out of this for so long, like just lay low. I wasn’t trying to play the social media game, I was trying to go by the legals, get the paperwork in, get evidence, and hope for the best. But at this point it seems like that’s gone nowhere so that’s what I’ve been trying to do, is just get this out in the public. To let people actually see what’s going on, so they actually see what colonization actually is. And what it does. Right now it’s destroying these houses and these families. They’re living in a motel right before Christmas and it’s heartbreaking. They don’t know what to do. They don’t have the money, they don’t have the legal assistance, they don’t have much of anything.

The best thing to do is just get the word out, and maybe the right attorney, or anybody, could hear something and see what they can do from their point. Because I’m not a professional in anything. I’m not a host, I’m not a journalist, I’m not a lawyer, I’m none of that. I’m just one guy who’s just trying to live in peace.

But I think the main thing right now, because it’s snowy in Winnemucca, and it’s cold, it’s just to make sure they have a place to stay where they don’t have to worry about being in the cold, because they don’t have a homeless shelter in Winnemucca. It’s just Indigent Services. And sometimes they don’t even approve you for that. And the people in Winnemucca just kind of stood by and watched it. Probably expecting someone else gonna do something. But it didn’t work out that way and now look at it. They closed up the colony again, they evicted these elders, they evicted kids, and they kept a certain specific few who they like to stay on the colony, even though they’re in the same position as us.

They have no tie to the colony or this and that and they’re allowed to stay. Just because we spoke out against it, we’re the ones evicted. Just like any kind of tyranny or dictatorship that happened, you start speaking up against something that’s more powerful than you, they try and silence it.

TFSR: Yeah, and once people’s homes, with all of their family heirlooms and their, whatever, get destroyed, that’s not something that can just be replaced with a court order. A stay of demolition won’t bring back someone’s family photos, or the walls that have kept them sheltered for so long that generations have lived in together…yeah, it seems super time sensitive.

KM: And like you said, yeah, there’s no price on that, you can’t pay a price on a memory. I go through my house still and I remember all the old stuff that I had when I was a child. I remember when it looked like this, or when this changed in the house. Who was staying where, because several people live in the house: me, my little cousins, my dad, my great grandmother, my grandmother, my brother. Pretty much all my family has stayed there at one point. And that was the house that we all went to as children to play, that’s the place we’d go to spend time with family. It was always home. Now we’re in the process of losing that. Which we shouldn’t be able to legally anyways, we have all the paperwork but they keep denying them.

Because every Memorial Day, when I was a kid, we’d go to McDermott to clean our graves and pay respect to the ones that passed. Then we’d stay in McDermott a little bit, then we come back to Winnemucca and then all just sit there and eat and talk and catch up. Thanksgivings, we’ve had Christmases, and I’m sure the same goes for the rest of the families. They’ve had their Christmases, they’ve had family arrangements, they’ve had losses. Now they’re losing more stuff they might hold dear that that person left them.

TFSR: Yeah. Well, Kyle, thanks a lot for talking. I’m gonna get this up and out as soon as possible, probably won’t be before tomorrow morning, but I really appreciate you taking the time to speak with me and I hope that this helps get word out. Wish you good luck and please keep in touch if you have other things you want us to pass along.

KM: Okay, I appreciate it. Like I said, anything helps at this moment. Just hope someone could hear it. I’m going back tomorrow and I’m gonna film it if they try and arrest me. I’m gonna put it on my Facebook Live.

TFSR: We’ll definitely link to your Facebook then. All right, have a good night and good luck.

KM: Alright, thank you. You too.