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Tribes: Document shows Fort Sill museum director was left out of warnings on sacred site

By Ron Jackson Modified: September 25, 2008 at 12:30 am •  Published: September 25, 2008
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Court records indicate Wheat never responded. A few weeks later, Spivey emphasized the sensitivity of the Medicine Bluffs in an e-mail to Deputy Garrison Commander Timothy Haymend.

"Construction in this location will definitely have an adverse impact on the viewscape of the Medicine Bluffs, a site that is extremely significant to the founding of Fort Sill and also to the religious beliefs of the Southern Plains Tribes,” wrote Spivey, who is part Chickasaw. "Tribal people continue to this day to collect cedar and sage from the immediate area of the Bluffs for use in the sacred sites ... There are other suitable locations available for the (warehouse) facility. There are no other Medicine Bluffs.”

Records show Col. Bridgford ordered a meeting with Spivey a month later, informing him his historical guidance was no longer desired.

Military officials feared that a delay in construction would "increase construction costs and risk the loss of funding” for the training center, therefore impeding their ability to satisfy the federal Base Realignment and Closure Commission's directives.

DeGiusti's judgment, meanwhile, will remain in place pending a trial.



The Medicine Bluffs site on Fort Sill is considered sacred by the Comanche Tribe, which is seeking to block construction of an Army warehouse on the site. BY RON JACKSON, THE OKLAHOMAN ARCHIVE

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