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Great Basin Tribes want NM designation for massacre site in eastern Nevada

ELY, Nev. —  White attackers turned a lush, high desert oasis in eastern Nevada, with its bubbling springs and a rare stand of Rocky Mountain junipers, into killing fields. They massacred hundreds of Native people there in the 1800s — a horrific history once retold in hushed tones behind closed doors.

That was until tribal members reluctantly found themselves defending the valley’s historical significance in state hearings. In the 2000s, they shared their painful past with authorities weighing whether to divert substantial amounts of groundwater that feeds the valley their relatives have long considered sacred.

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