By Tim W. Shenk
Led by former chair of the San Carlos Apache, Wendsler Nosie, Sr., indigenous leaders have been joined by people of faith from across the country to defend an Apache sacred site at Oak Flat, Arizona from devastating mining operations.
Starting Thanksgiving Day, Nosie traveled 45 miles on foot from the San Carlos reservation to “return home to live” at Oak Flat, a place dotted with petroglyphs and until recently protected as a part of Tonto National Forest. Though Apache people have used the site for prayer and religious ceremonies for generations, Resolution Copper was given permission by the U.S. government to begin copper mining operations.
Nosie writes in an online petition to save Oak Flat:
“We condemn the immoral, racist, and unconstitutional seizure and sale of Oak Flat. Oak Flat is one of the most holy places in the Apache religious tradition, likened to how Christians and Jews regard Mt. Sinai. Resolution Copper’s plan would create a crater below Oak Flat two miles wide and 1,000 feet deep.”
Please sign and share the petition: