Native Americans to perform in front of Legislature in support of bear hunt ban
February 8, 2013
A Native American round dance will take place in front of the Nevada Legislature on Monday in support of a senate bill that would ban bear hunting in Nevada.
The dance will draw between 20 and 50 people and will include some in traditional dress, drummers and singers starting at 10 a.m.
Senate Bill 82 would classify black bears as protected mammals and prevent the Nevada Department of Wildlife from allowing them to be hunted.
“We will perform a Round Dance in support of S.B. 82, and in solidarity with the Bear Nations (Nevada’s black bears),” said American Indian Movement President Raquel Arthur.
Arthur said black bears are sacred animals and that the hunts occur where Native Americans conduct their annual pine nut harvest, in the Pine Nut Mountains and Sweetwater Range.
In September, the Inter-Tribal Council of Nevada presented a resolution opposing the bear hunt to Gov. Brian Sandoval. In addition to the resolutions, there were petitions signed by 800 members of the Great Basin tribes, including the Washoe, Northern and Southern Paiute and Shoshone.
Earlier this month, the Nevada Board of Wildlife Commissioners rejected a petition asking that dogs not be used to help hunt bears.
Nevada has permitted two bear hunts so far, despite substantial public opposition. The most recent hunt ended in December.