Michael Paul Hill: Save sacred Apache lands from exploitation

In October, Nizhoni Pike, a member of the San Carlos Apache Tribe, held a coming-of-age ceremony in an area that will be affected by the land swap and the Resolution Copper mine. Photo by Anna Jeffrey for The Apache Messenger

Michael Paul Hill, a member of the San Carlos Apache Tribe of Arizona, explains the sacred nature of Oak Flat, a site that will be affected by a huge copper mine that was approved by Congress:
Oak Flat is holy and sacred not only because of spiritual and cultural traditions, but because it nourishes the Nnee with foods and herbal medicines that are only found there. Certain places contain spiritual and cultural sustenance where healing and nourishment is provided for our whole being. This is true for all peoples worldwide. Our bodies are made perfect for the environment we come from, and our Apache homelands have sustained and nourished our people for generations. Resolution Copper Company will destroy this.

We also know that water is life and gives life to all living things. We are made of water and need water to survive. When we have thunderstorms in our region, the mountains are where water is deposited before it flows downward toward the streams, rivers, underground aquifers and lakes. The water from the Oak Flat area continues eastward underground and flows down from the Pinal Mountains into Gilson Wash, then into the San Carlos River onward to the Gila River before it reaches San Carlos Lake. Our water is precious and limited. Resolution Copper Company will poison our waters and drain our aquifers.

Why do they want to expand mining at a time when global warming is the hot topic of the day? Money is what they want. Governments and corporations want to control all the natural resources so they can exploit them for their military industrial complex and technological advances. The military industrial complex, corporations and governments have big money interests in the continuation of war. They exploit natural resources like copper worldwide to advance their monetary interests through the wars they create. Gas, oil, fracking, mining, and all other forms of extractive industries power this war machine. And the war machine is powered by minerals and the lifeblood of our Nigodzan, Earth is Woman.

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Michael Paul Hill: Spiritual Unity Can Save Sacred Apache Land From Mining (Indian Country Today 2/3)

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