"United States Arizona Senators John McCain and Jon Kyl as well as U. S. Representative Ann Kirkpatrick who represent the highest offices in the state of Arizona also took an oath of office. We each represent the “People” of our districts.
The representation is not for some of the people, but all. Unfortunately, the Oak Flats Land Exchange proposal has brought debate and citizens are taking sides on the issue. The San Carlos Apache Tribe is no different. Granted, each of us has a right to voice our thoughts, but lately the San Carlos Apache Tribe has been finding themselves cut off from congressional representation, individuals that they help put in office.
Since we have never been contacted by our congressional delegation, the closest access I had to them since the Oak Flats controversy came in Washington D.C. on June 17, 2009 during the U.S. Senate Bill 409 hearing. With me were members of the Inter-Tribal Council (ITCA) along with Ft. McDowell Yavapai Tribe's president Clinton Pattea and other allied groups who had joined us at the U. S Senate Bill 409 hearing. We all sat directly behind our two Arizona U. S. Senators who completely ignored us.
This disrespect was an insult and a complete lack of professional acknowledgement reflects that these Senators do not represent “The People”, but only a percentage. What is the pay off? All we, the San Carlos Apache Tribe, can ensure with the no land swap are: the natural resources will remain safe, the environment will not be harmed, and our cultural sites will not be destroyed. Yes, employment is what the big money people can offer on the land swap, but that is a temporary fix and one that could destroy all of our livelihood on these lands that is our home. What is in it for these two Senators and our house representative?"
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Chairman's Corner by Wendsler Nosie Sr.
(The Apache Moccasin 7/1)