Oklahoma Tribe Fear Losing Access to Mountain

Jul 31, 2013

OKLAHOMA CITY (AP) — A Native American tribe in Oklahoma is pushing back against a rock crushing company that the tribe says will soon start mining gravel out of a mountain long considered sacred by tribal members.

The Kiowa Tribe has gathered cedar and performed ceremonies on the Longhorn Mountain since the tribe was relocated from the northern Plains to a reservation in southwestern Oklahoma in 1867. But the Kiowas' long-standing tradition could be in jeopardy after the tribe says some of the mountain's land owners leased water and land rights to a Cushing-based mining company.

Kiowa historian Phil Dupoint says the tribe has had a "gentlemen's agreement" with the private landowners over the years, but fears that won't be possible once the company starts mining for gravel.