E.J. Montini: Money wins in war to protect sacred Apache site

The Apache Stronghold, mostly members of the San Carlos Apache Tribe, traveled 2,000 miles from Arizona to Washington, D.C. for a protest at the U.S. Capitol on July 22, 2015. Photo by Indianz.Com

Arizona Republic columnist E.J. Montini doesn't think Congress will do the right thing and pass H.R.2811, the Save Oak Flat Act, to prevent a sacred Apache site from being harmed by a mining development:
The protesters journeyed from Arizona's San Carlos reservation to Washington, D.C., where they are this week.

They want Congress to reverse the offer of land in Tonto National Forest, called Oak Flat, to foreign mining conglomerates. The Apache people for generations have considered the land sacred.

Beneath the property, however, is copper.

And last year, Republican Senators John McCain and Jeff Flake and Republican Rep. Paul Gosar added a rider to the must-pass National Defense Authorization Act allowing for a land swap that would hand over the property to Resolution Copper, a subsidiary of international mining company Rio Tinto. Democratic Rep. Ann Kirkpatrick also supported the deal.

Supporters cite economics. Jobs. Tax revenue.

This is more or less what representatives of the United States government say every time they are doing something to land that native people believe to be holy.

Money wins.

Get the Story:
E.J. Montini: Tribal beliefs v. big business (Yeah, we know who wins) (The Arizona Republic 7/24)

More Opinions:
Stephen Boyd: The Apache are coming to DC (The Hill 7/21)
Dave Johnson: Oak Flat: The Latest Land Grab From Native Americans (The Huffington Post 7/22)

Also Today:
iting Religious Freedom, Native Americans Fight To Take Back Sacred Land From Mining Companies (Think Progress 7/24)
Apaches Rally At Capitol, Vowing To Continue Fighting For Sacred Oak Flat (The Huffington Post 7/22)
Apache activists call on Congress to reverse deal that gave sacred land to mining company (Free Speech Radio News‎ 7/23)
Tribe vows to fight Arizona lawmakers over land swap (Cronkite News 7/23)
Resolution Copper: 6 Egregious Examples of Parent Rio Tinto's Rights Violations Worldwide (ndian Country Today 7/23)
Native Americans protest $6bn Arizona copper mine plan in front of US Capitol (Reuters 7/21)

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