Tribes Oppose Department Homeland Security Plan to Release Chemical Agents on Tribal Lands
Federal Agency Failed to Disclose Plans to Test Biohazardous Substances at the Site of the Former Chilocco Indian School on Trust Land Jointly Owned By Five Area Tribes
CHILOCCO INDIAN SCHOOL, Okla. –The Council of Confederated Chilocco Tribes (the “Council”) announced today its formal opposition to the Department of Homeland Security plan to test substances related to biochemical warfare on Tribal lands that include the site of the former Chilocco Indian School.
The Tribes that compose the Council— the Kaw Nation, the Otoe-Missouria Tribe, the Pawnee Nation, the Ponca Tribe, and the Tonkawa Tribe—jointly own the former school site, but Homeland Security never consulted the Tribes about testing potentially carcinogenic and other undisclosed hazardous substances at the Chilocco Indian School.
“We stand united in opposition to the use of Chilocco for testing of potentially dangerous substances,” Council Speaker John Shotton and Chairman of the Otoe-Missouria Tribe says. “Many of our Tribal members went to school here. Indian children are buried here.”
While Homeland Security promises that no construction, permanent land disturbance, or land use changes will occur as a result of the release, the Tribes have informed the agency that the proposed release of these hazardous substances at the site of the former Chilocco Indian School violates the lease with the Council as well as a number of federal laws requiring formal consultation with Indian tribes and protect sites of cultural, religious, and historic significance.
About the Chilocco Indian School
Located in north-central Oklahoma, approximately seven miles north of Newkirk near the Kansas border, Chilocco Indian School served as a federal boarding school for American Indian children. Chilocco Indian School opened in 1884 and closed in 1980. The School was placed on the National Register of Historic Places on September 8, 2006.
About the Council of Confederated Chilocco Tribes
The Council of Confederated Chilocco Tribes is an inter-tribal organization formed to address common interests in trust lands held by the Kaw Nation, the Otoe-Missouria Tribe, the Pawnee Nation, the Ponca Tribe, and the Tonkawa Tribe.
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