The US government is about to let a giant international mining company dig up a beautiful stretch of national forest held sacred by the Apache tribe. But if we stand with Apache leaders as they rally in Washington DC this week, we can help block this disgraceful deal.
Too many of our governments have a shameful history of abusing indigenous peoples. But when US lawmakers with links to mining interests used devious tactics to grant permission for the mine, the Apache fought back. It’s starting to work — right now Congress is considering whether to stop the project.
Apache leaders will meet lawmakers in hours. If enough of us back their courageous call today, our mass of voices can build their strength to save their heritage, and send a message to governments around the world that indigenous lands and culture are not for sale. Sign now:
For centuries the San Carlos Apache have used the Oak Flat area of the Tonto National Forest in Arizona for traditional religious ceremonies. This cultural significance and its natural beauty mean it has had protected status for sixty years, and repeated attempts to open the land up to mining have failed to pass Congress.
Arizona’s Senators — both of whom have financial links to mining companies — only got it through Congress last year by attaching the approval to a totally unrelated national defence bill.
Supporters of the mining plan — led by an Australian-British corporation — say it will bring jobs to the area, but local leaders question how many jobs would go to locals, and highlight the huge costs. A massive 2 mile-long copper mine at Oak Flat would destroy a holy site that Apache have used for centuries.
Let’s join the fight to protect this sacred land. When the Apache leaders arrive in DC this week to defend their irreplaceable heritage, we’ll stand with them shoulder to shoulder to help them win. Sign now and spread the word:
From Brazil to Tanzania, our community has stood behind local communities protecting their natural and cultural heritage. Now we have a critical opportunity to make sure the US government honours its commitments and moral responsibility to the Apache.
With hope and determination,
Nick, Joseph, Rewan, Alex, Emma and the rest of the Avaaz team
Selling Off Apache Holy Land (New York Times)
Tribe’s protest of mine plan near Superior is in 3rd week (Arizona Daily Star)
Apache tribe distressed by privatization of sacred land (Arizona Daily Star)
Save Oak Flat
Opponents renew fight against Superior copper mine
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