“American Outrage” directed by Beth Gage & George Gage; written by Beth Gage; narrated by Mary Steenburgen, First Run Features, 2008 (released 2009), 56 minutes plus special features, $24.95.
By Diana Staresinic-Deane
The interpretation of this treaty is at the heart of “American Outrage,” a film documenting the Western Shoshone’s 36-year struggle to maintain ownership of and rights to their traditional sacred lands.
At the center of this battle are sisters Carrie and Mary Dann, a pair of Western Shoshone grandmothers who have ranched near the Crescent Valley in Nevada for their entire lives. In 1973, a representative of the Bureau of Land Management informed the Danns that their animals were trespassing on government land. Consulting a map of Western Shoshone land as outlined by the Treaty of Ruby Valley, the Danns insisted they were within their rights.