FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: November 30, 2022
Contact: Will Pregman, wpregman@battlebornprogress.
Nevada Supporters of Proposed Monument React to President Biden Announcement, Call for Tribal Requested Boundaries to be Honored
NEVADA – In response to the announcement by the Biden-Harris Administration of their plans to issue a formal designation of Avi Kwa Ame to be Nevada’s next national monument, the Honor Avi Kwa Ame coalition partners issued the following statement:
“We are thrilled by President Joe Biden‘s announcement today, during the 2022 White House Tribal Nations Summit, of the Administration’s intent to designate the nearly 450,000 acre landscape known as Avi Kwa Ame as a new national monument. Earlier in November, tribal leaders and members, monument supporters, and the general public made their voices heard about this culturally and ecologically significant proposal and the need to safeguard these resources for future generations. Over 200 supporters packed a meeting room in Laughlin and were near-unanimous in their support for protecting this special place, based on its spiritual and cultural significance to Tribal nations, its ecological importance for the southwest, and how its breathtaking beauty inspires artists, outdoor recreationalists, & local residents alike. This effort to expand federal protection for Avi Kwa Ame has been years in the making, and finally it is nearing success. However, we strongly urge the Administration and its officials to designate the monument in accordance with the boundaries proposed by Tribes who have been organizing this effort and passing down the importance of this land for generations. Yuman-speaking Tribes believe the mountain is the spiritual birthplace of the tribes – the place where ancient ancestors emerged into this world. To ignore this request would be disrespectful to the Tribes of in Nevada, and would undermine the wishes of Nevada’s first people.
After Congresswoman Dina Titus opened the door with legislation, and Interior Secretary Deb Haaland’s visit to the proposed site in September, it is a testament to the hard work by tribes and supporters of Avi Kwa Ame over the past several months that these plans are nearing fruition. Throughout that time, supporters have gathered over 110,000 petition signatures in support of the designation and urging the federal government to take action. We are hopeful that the final designation respects the original boundaries for the proposed monument put forward by the Tribes who have led this effort. We appreciate the Administration for their intent to designate this sacred area and eagerly await further communications from the White House and Interior Department to finalize this designation and see this campaign through quickly to protect this sacred area for future generations.”
About Honor Avi Kwa Ame: A coalition of tribes, local Searchlight, Boulder City and Laughlin residents, the Nevada Legislature, conservation groups, recreation interests, and others are working to establish the Avi Kwa Ame National Monument to permanently protect these treasured lands. Avi Kwa Ame is the Mojave name for Spirit Mountain and the surrounding landscape. The mountain, located on the eastern boundary of the proposed monument, and the surrounding landscape are sacred to twelve Native American tribes.
For a full list of Avi Kwa Ame National Monument supporters, click here.
About Avi Kwa Ame (Pronunciation: Ah-VEE kwa-meh): Sacred to 12 tribes, the proposed Avi Kwa Ame National Monument is at the center of Yuman creation stories and spiritual ideology and deserves permanent protection. Located between the Lake Mead National Recreation Area and the Nevada/California border, Avi Kwa Ame, the Mojave name for Spirit Mountain, could be Nevada’s 4th national monument. Covering nearly 450,000 acres in southwestern Nevada, it is rich in both history and beauty. The proposed national monument includes petroglyphs; historic mining- and pioneer-era artifacts; rare and threatened wildlife such as the Mojave Desert tortoise and desert bighorn sheep.