Dec 6, 2014 - House Approves Bill to Give Apache Lands to Foreign Corporation


On December 4th, the House passed the National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA) which included a provision to transfer 2,400 acres of Apache ancestral and ceremonial lands to a foreign mining company.

Since time immemorial people have gone there. That’s part of our ancestral homeland. We’ve had dancers in that area forever – sunrise dancers – and coming-of-age ceremonies for our young girls that become women. They’ll seal that off. They’ll seal us off from the acorn grounds, and the medicinal plants in the area, and our prayer areas.”

~ Terry Rambler, chairman of the San Carlos Apache Tribe

Prior to the House vote, the House and Senate Armed Services Committee attached a provision to the NDAA that would transfer Apache ancestral lands located in the Tonto National Forest to Resolution Copper, a subsidiary of Rio Tinto an Australian-English mining company. Sen. John McCain (R- AZ) was instrumental in pushing to get the provision language included.

Apache leaders learned of the inclusion of the provision to the NDAA while attending, ironically, the White House Tribal Nations conference. Republican lawmakers have tried for years to secure the transfer of these lands, but have always run into strong opposition from the San Carlos Apache Tribe and Democratic lawmakers.

The NDAA now goes to the Senate for vote.

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