25 reasons Why You Should Care And Sign The Petition To End Apache Land Grab! By Noel AltahaTweet
Recently, like ‘bout a week ago, week ago’ Congress was up to no good. They started making trouble in my neighborhood. No, all song references aside, these Wile E coyotes aka so-call Law Makers tried to sneak in a mining bill into a larger defense bill. The mining bill would allow foreign international mining companies to drill into a copper deposit on sacred ancestral Apache land in Arizona.
At the last minute House lawmakers slipped this legislation in thinking no one would notice. Thought you were clever Wile E Coyotes didn’t ya? #TrapGameWeak #AintFoolingUs #CrimingWhileCongress
Not a bad move though, making us sift through 1,600 pages of the Defense bill so we could find this ‘Apache Land Grab’ or ‘Land Swap’ as its referred to in legal terms. I’m sorry I don’t speak monkey.
Another lame move on in all of this shenanigans is including this mining bill H.R. 687 into the larger MUST pass defense bill. Late Tuesday night supporters included this mining bill in the annual must pass National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA) bill. Well there’s still time. The bill hasn’t passed the Senate, yet. Call out the coyotes in office… I mean, call your representatives and ask them to not include bill H.R. 687. If the Senate does pass this bill then you can sign this petition to ask President Barack Obama to consider not passing the mining bill and #SaveFlatOak #SaveApacheLeap: PETITION TO STOP APACHE LAND GRAB It is a two step process. Enter Name and email, then check email and confirm your signature. DEADLINE JANUARY 3RD TO GET TOTAL OF 100,000 SIGNATURES!
But if you have doubts of supporting the petition here’s a handful of reasons to consider. #SaveOakFlat Ready?
1. Because you respect the value of not giving away something that’s not YOURS. That’s pretty reasonable and logical right? I mean it seems pretty straightforward. Well Congress doesn’t get it. Lawmakers want to give away thousands of acres to foreign mining companies because these international companies (owned by Australian and British and other foreign investors like China) want to search the deposit area for copper.
2. Because if this bill passes then Congress would be an ‘Indian Giver’ and no one likes one of those. They are giving away the land to these companies only they want it back with profit. By the way as a Native American, I’ve always been confused by this term because we’ve never given something away only to ask for it back. That’s more like ‘Colonial Takers’. They invaded the land, offered peace then took it back and slaughtering whole tribes. Don’t get it twisted. But I mean I’m sure John McCain would tell me to ‘get over it’.
3. Because you wouldn’t like it if anyone gave away something you valued only to turn around and make 100% or more of profit off of it and didn’t tell you about it. These foreign international companies will end up making billions of dollars if they mine copper from this land. This not about giving money to Apache tribes, it’s about the capitalistic twisted mindset of profiting off of something that isn’t yours to begin with.
Greed is an addiction so before politicians start to sell others property to feed their itch we have to help these addicts by not enabling them and turning a blind eye.
4. Because it’s the law, no really. Its an actual law and politicians want to change the law. The land, referred to as ‘Oak Flat,’ is protected by a law signed by President Eisenhower in 1955, who signed public LAW order 1255 prohibiting this area, part of the Tonto National Forest, and surrounding areas from anyone for anything.
This is a law signed by a President but certain politicians like U.S. Reps. Paul Gosar, R-Arizona, Ann Kirkpatrick, D-Arizona, and Sen. John McCain, R-Arizona want to overturn that law so they can make their pockets deep. They claim these lands have no value. Actually these lands are extremely valuable to many different groups including my Native American Apache Nation and neighboring Tribal Nations. We view this land as SACRED and Holy.
5. Because it’s a sacred site. Keyword: sacred. Meaning, show respect to something even if you don’t ‘get it,’ and even if you may never ‘get it’. There is ancestral meaning to people who’ve lived and died here for thousands of years before we came along. Not to mention my tribal relatives,the decedents of our ancestors, who continue our traditional ceremonies in this area today.
See here for more on Sacred Sites.
6. Because women are powerful and because you respect women. There’s a connection between women and the land here so hang in there if you are confused.
Patriarchal societies may be scratching their heads now. It’s okay I’ll do my best to break this down. In the context of cultures of Western Apache tribes, Western Apaches are matrilineal societies. We hold women with high regard. In my tribe, White Mountain Apache, most things (private and public matters) go through the woman. She is the sacred life giver. She is the mother and every mother deserves respect, including Mother Earth. Starting to see the connection? So this land is where Apaches go to hold one of our highest ceremonies honoring women, known as the Sunrise Dance Ceremony. It’s actually a beautiful enriching experience and who knows, maybe one day you may find yourself invited to one. Who knows, maybe I will be inviting you to my future daughters’ ceremonies. All the more reason to support this land.
7. Because you love the environment, you earth lover. If the mining companies mine the copper they will destroy the land. The method of mining is known as,’block caving’ and it does some serious damage. This makes the land sink in after blasting it from underground. It sinks because of the weight of the earth. When will we realize we cannot continue to carve into our Mother Earth for our selfish capitalistic desires? As Apaches we get it. European Imperialists conquered the world and we understand how capitalists value money, 500 years of colonization on our land has taught us that but at some point our eco-systems cannot take anymore.
9. Because NO Means No. The Earth simply has no more to give so tell the politicians and mining companies to stop acting like crack addicts. No Means No. To quote a badass Unist’ot’en clan Wet’suwet’en Nation activist,
“Our People have had enough. We’re not just going to stand here and take the bullying. We’re not going to take it without a fight. We’ve had enough of these spoiled brats stealing off our lands and not taking no for an answer. We’re going to be the stern parents and say enough is enough. No, you’re not coming in.”
This video made it on unworthy. Check it out here!
8. Let your mind soak this one up, in the words of 13-year-old activist Ta’Kaiya Blaney (Sliammon First Nation, British Columbia, Canada). She said this at the #FrackOff Summit days before the 2014 Climate March in NYC:
“Also ask yourself, “what land will we leave for our children and what children will we leave for our land?”
Ask yourself what kind of change do you want to see in the world? We are given a certain period of time on this earth, what good do we want to bring? What kind of future do we want our children to have? Many Native ideologies believe in the ‘7 generations’ and we are all taught differently. I was taught different versions. One is, “you honor the past three generations by acknowledging the work and sacrifice they did so you can be here, then you honor your current generation by living in the present, and lastly you prepare for the next three generations.” Another version is, “prepare now for the next seven generations so they may live in a world healthier than ours.”
9. Because it’s the decent human thing to do. Hi human, I’m human too. In my Apache teachings, we believe that Mother Earth is deeply connected to you.
Our footprints are powerful and Mother Earth records them. When we pass on into the spirit world our footprints are washed away. That is why it rains or snows after someone has passed. Its Mother Nature’s way of washing away our footprints. The lesson is that our literal and metaphorical footprints are recorded because its powerful and because of this power we must walk with purpose. Wherever we walk in the world we must do it with good intention and walk in meaning. Navajo/Dine people call this Walk in Beauty.
Whoever you are, wherever you come from, I believe you are reading this because you are deeply connected to the earth. If we are deeply connected then we can feel how wrong it is to dig into a sacred place.
10. Because you love an underdog and well let’s be real, Native Americans are the ultimate underdogs. We continue to be marginalized, belittled, disregarded, and seen as less than in this society. I mean how is the Washington R******* still a thing? Yes that’s a stab at Snyder, it’s not a metaphor, he’s just psycho. Sorry Slim Shady, I mean the fact that this petition has to even be created speaks to how much our society needs to be educated on the historical trauma and unresolved grief Native peoples have faced since colonial contact until today. Ask me more about historical trauma theory, I did a two year research grant through the National Institute of Health. I’m no expert but I have a lot of references to check out. As Americans we like to pride ourselves on being the helpers to other nations. Let’s start in our own backyard and show alliance to the Native Nations facing issues like this daily. I’m not asking you to pity us Natives, rather support us because we are the underdogs, think of it like you’re backing up Rocky as he fights Apollo Creed. We love our movie references.
11. Because you think the government’s corrupted and it’s all rubbish. Signing the petition or sharing this article will be your way of flipping off the politicians who think they can do whatever they want to whoever they want. Yeah I’m calling you out Republican Representative Paul Gosar and McCain.
12. Because you’re sick of politicians ignoring the people. Signing the petition and sharing it with others will shove it in politicians faces even though they wanna act like they can’t hear us and don’t see us.
13. Because it’s bad for the people living near there: 97% of waste rock will be dumped nearby peoples’ homes and work.
14. Because the ‘block caving’ mining method of carving and blasting rocks in Mother Earth is WRONG and harmful. Oak Flat and Apache Leap will be dug up for only 3% of copper. Check out this animated video:
15. Because I triple dog dare you and you can’t back down now. Need I say more?
16. Because you’re an outdoor enthusiast. White people love strapping their lives to ropes and putting their trust in belaying. Why? God knows, but I love ya white people. No judgment here. So rock climbing junkies, if this bill passes you won’t be able to rock climb anywhere near here and I heard from a bird this is an amazing place to climb. Sign this petition, and maybe I’ll come eat cliff bars safely on the ground and watch you climb.
17. Because you’re an animal lover. No one asked or considered the wildlife in ‘Oak Flat.’ Help the animals out and stand up for them. If you love animals and don’t want to see another stretch of their homes destroyed, speak up because they can’t. (*Side note: Many Natives believe animals are our relatives. Aside from Disney Pocahontas rubbish we legitimately believe we’re deeply connected to animals. That being said you won’t find me chilling with desert snakes or coyotes. Even though I don’t talk to them I still believe we are all interconnected. There’s a difference.)
18. Because if you don’t stand for something, you’ll fall for anything.
19. Because you are an activist. We can all help out in our own way.
20. Because this image says it all:
21. Because I need your help. Help me!
22. Because you’ve read and agreed with the poem “First they came” by German pastor Martin Niemöller, who was imprisoned during the Jewish Holocaust.
Who will stand with you if you don’t stand along others? By the way this isn’t like a cult kind of thing, so don’t worry.
First they came for the Socialists, and I did not speak out—
Because I was not a Socialist.
Then they came for the Trade Unionists, and I did not speak out—
Because I was not a Trade Unionist.
Then they came for the Jews, and I did not speak out—
Because I was not a Jew.
Then they came for me—and there was no one left to speak for me.
23. Because collective conscious creates change. Those in power don’t want to see us rise up. Together we can be the change we want to see in the world.
24. Because I asked nicely? Okay I am tugging at your heart strings through a gif? But still. Please?
25. Really? Do I seriously have to make a 25th point? My last 24 points weren’t sufficient enough? Okay- maybe you aren’t an activist, but you could be and this might be the only thing you ever do that’s close to activism. It’s okay, Roll your sleeves up and get your hands dirty in activism. I insist.
Check out youvideo covering more info:
References and sources cited: (with or without their permission)