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Duck Valley Indian Reservation builds for the future

The reservation that straddles the Nevada border will build a new school
Posted at 9:00 AM, Nov 24, 2023

OWYHEE, Nevada — The drive to Duck Valley is a pretty one...across open range with the Owyhee Mountains staring you down from the west. We came here years ago to help them get the word out on the desperate need for a new baseball field for the kids.

Duck Valley Reservation Field of Dreams

We returned because so much has happened since. To understand where the Shoshone-Paiute tribe is going you have to understand their history.

Chairman Mason explains, "It was formed first as a Western Shoshone reservation back in 1877, they moved all the Western Shoshones in Nevada and they brought them up here by an executive decision. We're kind of unique. Other than the five tribes that are in Idaho, we deal on a regular basis with two states."

One of those states is Nevada. Tribal Chairman Brian Mason and the rest of the council have been relentless in lobbying the Nevada State Legislature for funding for a new school. The Owyhee combined school is K-12. They have tried to get this school replaced for years it is old and rundown."

So the big day finally happened in Carson City in June, when the Nevada Governor signed a bill allocating funds for a new K-12 school on the Reservation.

The measure will benefit the entire community, but it's about the children on the reservation. Mason is proud to talk about it.

"It's 100 percent about the kids. They gotta have that opportunity, that level playing field that sometimes, as one parent stated, they don't always feel valued and this will help them."

I asked about the students. Chairman Mason says many of the school's graduates who leave Duck Valley come back in some form or fashion.

"Once a Shoshone-Paiute, always a Shoshone-Paiute...absolutely! There are very few that do not return."

Next week, I take a closer look at why the tribe is so desperately looking for ways to generate revenue enabling the reservation to pay for services and medical needs.