I bought and read Corbin Harney's 1995 book "The Way It Is" and believe I have done as much research on the web about him as is possible -- yet I find nothing about his birthplace, early life, teenage years, whether he married and had a family, or what his life was like as an adult within his community. I am given to understand that unlike for other tribes, the treaty of 1863 with the Shoshone spoke of removing people to a reservation, but that reservation was never created. I know about Duck Valley, but am unclear if it has the status of a reservation. I believe most of the problems reported about exposure to nuclear contamination came from this place, which must be downwind of Frenchman Flat in the NTS.
Where did Corbin Harney reside for most of his life? Was it Duck Valley? I am wondering how he became an activist, and if his connection to Duck Valley was responsible.
Corbin Harney's dedication as a spiritual leader of the Shoshone people and his efforts to restore Indigenous control over Newe Sogobia deserves fuller treatment (or maybe it has, and I am unaware), and I am hoping that the as-yet unknown details of his origins, his day-to-day existence with his people and within the whirlwind of events surrounding the anti-nuclear movement on Shoshone land, are a vacuum that needs filling with information and research. His death was so recent (2008) that surely there are people who could speak about him, and I would be so grateful to read those accounts.
Corbin Harney was born March 20, 1920, in Bruno, Idaho and raised on the Owyhee Indian Reservation. He was raised by his grandparents, they raised him in the traditional ways of their people, teaching him the ancient spiritual beliefs that sustained their culture. Harney's formal education ended when he ran away from Indian boarding school at the age of nine because of his feelings of how his schoolmates were mistreated by their teachers. He was a World War II veteran.
As an adult, Harney found his calling as a traditional healer and spiritual leader. Soon he became involved in the Shoshone struggle for civil rights, including their efforts to protect and heal their traditional lands. He also became a leader of the international antinuclear movement. Corbin Harney passed away on July 10, 2007.