NEEDLES — The Fort Mojave Indian Tribe will host the 22nd annual Ward Valley Spiritual Gathering commemorating the victory against a proposed nuclear waste dump at the site on Saturday, Feb. 22, beginning at 9 a.m. MST.

The gathering will also include representatives from the five River Tribes (Fort Mojave, Chemehuevi, Quechan, Cocopah and Colorado River Indian Tribes) and the environmental activists and allies who supported the fight.

In addition to honoring these individuals and organizations for the hard work, courage and dedication they brought to the successful 113-day occupation, it is also a remembrance filled with songs from the Fort Mojave Tribal Band, traditional Bird Singing and Dancing, a Spirit Run, tributes and a history of Ward Valley.

In 1998, the tribes and activists occupied the area of the proposed site, preventing law enforcement from the Bureau of Land Management from entering the site, effectively stopping any test drilling or development.

Protesting that the waste dump would have desecrated sacred land, the tribes and activists prevailed when the U.S. Department of the Interior rescinded an eviction notice and canceled the test drilling.

The Interior Department terminated all actions regarding the Ward Valley dump proposal on Nov. 2, 1999, ending the fight with victory for the tribes and activists.

Ward Valley is about 25 miles west of Needles along Interstate 40 at Water Road.

For more information about the gathering, please contact the Fort Mojave Public Relations Department at 760-629-4591 or e-mail publicrelations@fortmojave.com.

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