Carrie and Mary Dann are feisty Western Shoshone sisters who have endured five terrifying livestock roundups by armed federal marshals in which more than a thousand of their horses and cattle were confiscated — for grazing their livestock on the open range outside their private ranch.
That range is part of 60 million acres recognized as Western Shoshone land by the United States in the 1863 Treaty of Ruby Valley, but in 1974 the U.S. sued the Dann sisters for trespassing on that land, without a permit. That set off a dispute between the Dann sisters and the U. S. government that swept to the United States Supreme Court and eventually to the Organization of American States and the United Nations.
American Outrage asks why the United States government has spent millions persecuting and prosecuting two elderly women grazing a few hundred horses and cows in a desolate desert. The United States Bureau of Land Management insists the sisters are degrading the land. The Dann sisters say the real reason is the resources hidden below this seemingly barren land, their Mother Earth. Western Shoshone land is the second largest gold producing area in the world.