Broken Treaty at Battle Mountain (1974)

Genres - Culture & Society  |   Sub-Genres - Social History  |   Run Time - 60 min.  |   Countries - USA  |  
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This documentary examines the fight initiated by the Shoshone Indians of Nevada to claim some twenty-four million acres of land ceded to them in an 1863 treaty with the Federal government. However, not content simply to ignore their treaty, the government gives in to pressure from local white cattle-ranchers and is shown destroying a pinyon pine forest that the Native Americans depended on for income; the ranchers wanted those public lands for grazing. Narrated by Robert Redford, the film illustrates the Shoshone way of life, including the impoverished living conditions of the tribe and the inner workings of the tribal government. Also seen is a confrontation between Indian activists and Federal agents and an interview with a Shoshone elder, 115 years old at the time, who recounts the steady destruction of his way of life.