Utah Indians accusing Transit Authority of destroying sacred lands

Citizens of Utah’s American Indian tribes are accusing the Utah Transit Authority of trespassing on sacred lands in building a commuter rail line to Provo. The trespass is allegeding running over a 3,000 year-old village.

“Our ancestors used it heavily for sustenance and ceremonies,” said Rupert Steele, the chairman of the Confederate Tribe of the Goshutes.

Near the ancient village of Galena, UTA is putting in a Frontrunner line headed to Provo. But a dirt pile has enviromentalists and tribal leaders fuming. At a news conference Thursday, they accused UTA of trespassing and desecrating the sacred lands. They say UTA broke federal law and didn’t consult them.

UTA says it accidentally put topsoil on an area that’s in dispute. It’s halted any work on the area while they try to sort it out.

The tribes are not ruling out potential litigation.

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