Members of Burns Paiute tribe had a message Wednesday for the militiamen who had commandeered the Malheur Wildlife Refuge 30 miles away.
“They just need to get the hell out of here,” Jarvis Kennedy, a member of the tribe’s council, said according to a report from the Oregonian. “They didn’t ask anybody, we don’t want them here…our little kids are sitting at home when they should be in school.”
The Paiute tribe once lived on much of the land that is now the Malheur Wildlife Refuge, but were ordered to leave in the 1870s just before the area experienced a boom of settlers. The Paiute tribe still views the land as their own and they say they have solid working relationship with the refuge personal, who they view as protectors of key archeological sites.
According to the Oregonian, the tribe has deep concerns that those sites could be damaged the longer the militiamen are holed up at the refuge. The Oregonian reported that member of the tribe “met with archaeologists at the refuge Tuesday.”