Peter d'Errico: San Carlos Apache Tribe fights hostile takeover

Members of the San Carlos Apache Tribe participated in a 40-mile march from the reservation to Oak Flat earlier this month. Photo by Kenneth Chan / Facebook

Retired professor Peter d'Errico discusses efforts by the San Carlos Apache Tribe of Arizona to protect sacred sites from a mining operation:
The San Carlos Apache battle cry, sounded by San Carlos Apache Chairman Terry Rambler to prevent the hostile takeover over of Apache lands by the United States and Rio Tinto mining corporation, goes to the core of U.S. neo-colonialism against Native nations.

The current attack on Apache lands arises from a law recently passed by the U.S. Congress, the "Southeast Arizona land exchange and conservation Act." The title of the act conceals its true purpose. The law has nothing to do with conservation. It enables the mining company to begin digging, with the environmental hazards and destruction that mining entails.

The title of the act also shows the anti-Indian root of the law: The lands in question do not belong to Arizona; they are Apache lands. Already, in the name of the law itself, we find levels of deception.

We are familiar with the common political practice of concealing the true purpose of a law behind wonderful-sounding phrases: "conservation" instead of "destruction." We should also be familiar with the fact that federal Indian law presents a pro-Indian mask in front of an anti-Indian face: "trust responsibility" instead of "federal domination."

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Peter d'Errico: San Carlos Apache Battle Against ‘Christian Discovery’ (Indian Country Today 2/20)

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