T he Owens Valley is sacred to the Paiute of Fort Independence, it is like our mother, who gave us life. It is spiritual, it is hallowed. It is not easy to put it on paper, but we will try for the sake of moving forward.
The sagebrush, willows, grasses, and all plants that grow in the Owens Valley are sacred to us, they feed and heal our people for thousands of years. We use these plants for food, for medicine. We use these plants for shelter and for tools that we need to live.
All of the animals, rabbit, lizard, deer, coyote and the insects, they provided for us. They are sacred to us. Without the plants, the animals and the land, we would not be.
The Paya (Water), this is sacred.
Paya is potentially an unrenewable resource, it must be protected.
The rocks, creeks, lakes, lands, these are sacred to us. We lived in the entire Owens Valley, and beyond. This is our home. All of these are inter-connected and without one, none could exist.
Our people are buried here, their spirits speak to us, and they guide us.
In order to keep our culture intact, we must protect her, and all her fauna and flora.