People gather outside of State Legislature in support of bill that would revise use of Minden’s Sundown Siren

People gather in support of senate bill revising Minden's Sundown Siren
Published: Apr. 5, 2023 at 8:56 PM PDT
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CARSON CITY, Nev. (KOLO) - Wednesday afternoon local tribal members and allies rallied outside of the State Legislature building in support of SB391. The bill aims to present revised provisions on governing entities’ use of sirens, bells, or alarms for certain purposes.

For local tribal leaders, the bill represents hope and opportunity to put an end to the use of the Minden Sundown Siren, for recreational purposes. They say the siren was historically used as a warning to Native Americans to get out of town or face threat of violence, incarceration, or death.

“There are people in this area who stand with the Washoe, who stand with native people, who stand with black, indigenous, and BIPOC people across the nation, and its time for us to stop this racist, horrific practice from going any further,” said Stephanie Mushrush, Washoe Tribal citizen in support of SB391.

Presently, the siren still goes off daily, once at noon and once at 5 p.m.

“This is a huge piece of historical and intergenerational trauma for the Washoe people- our ancestors of past, our relatives of present, and future generations- as we are still dealing with it after 100 years,” said Mushrush.

The bill, presented by Nevada State Senator, Dallas Harris (D); is about ending the trauma induced by the siren, says organizers.

Efforts to contact representatives of the City of Minden, for a statement on the use of the siren, have not been returned.