On Wednesday, the Council of Confederated Chilocco Tribes formally opposed the Department of Homeland Security’s plan to release chemicals on the Chilocco Indian School campus.
The announcement came from Homeland Security in November. It plans to release aerosols on the property near Newkirk, Oklahoma. It’s in preparation of a biological attack.
Homeland Security solicited proposals, and said it received the best proposal from University Multispectral Laboratories (UML). UML leases the Chilocco land for training purposes.
As soon as residents found out about the chemical testing, a large group rallied and petitioned against it.
The Department of Homeland Security said they received about 300 comments that they need to review.
The five tribes with the council are joining in on the opposition. A statement was released on behalf of the council. It reads, in part:
“We stand united in opposition to the use of Chilocco for testing of potentially dangerous substances,” Council Speaker John Shotton and Chairman of the Otoe-Missouria Tribe says. “Many of our Tribal members went to school here. Indian children are buried here.”
While Homeland Security promises that no construction, permanent land disturbance, or land use changes will occur as a result of the release, the Tribes have informed the agency that the proposed release of these hazardous substances at the site of the former Chilocco Indian School violates the lease with the Council as well as a number of federal laws requiring formal consultation with Indian tribes and protect sites of cultural, religious, and historic significance.