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Apache leaders: Spirits, acorns make land proposed for copper mine sacred

A land swap in the Tonto National Forest is pitting Apache leaders who say the area is sacred against supporters of a proposed copper mine that would create jobs.... Read more»

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7 comments on this story

Sep 16, 2010, 10:54 pm
-1 +3

Two Presidents set Oak Flats aside for the People yet these Congress persons want to give it away to this mining Company. A mining company from another Country that is going to sell the ore outside this Country for their profit. Use all the water in the area plus more for their profit for just about free, and destroy the land for just about free. Except for some kickbacks. Any jobs will be temp at best, and low wage. High wage mining will be brought in. A wildlife area will be destroyed forever, and a historical one as well. A tourist area will forever be gone. Not counting breaking another agreement made by a President, Traditions and Religious beliefs. All for the profits of a Company from another Country.

Sep 17, 2010, 8:18 am
-1 +3

Once again the nations have been pushed aside so that greed can have its fill. 

A very wise man once told me we are all indigenous to this world.  Perhaps it is finally time we stopped raping the very thing which has given us life.  My brother used to joke with his child that he helped bring his child into this world and can take his child out of this world, but the joke is on us.  If we continue to destroy the land, one day it will stop sustaining life.

The People have been moved around from place to place like a farmer would herd cattle.  These are People, not animals.  They too have rights to celebrate their faith practices without fear of having those rights removed, but that is exactly what these corporations are doing: removing their rights.

Perhaps it is the copper deep underground which provided just the right magnetic fields which allows them to communicate with the Divine and with the spirits.  Removing that copper would effectively destroy that communication.  It would be akin to destroying your local church or cathedral.

To the People: teach us.  Don’t think all other peoples are the same as those who would do harm to your land.  Teach us to open ourselves to the world around us.  Educate us. Help us to grow.  Be patient with us, your children.  Do not shut us out, but help us develop our sense of the Divine around us.  Teach us to see with our eyes open rather than stumbling around in the dark with our eyes closed.

Help us to understand so we too can defend the rights of the great mother earth.

Sep 17, 2010, 9:32 am
-2 +1

Why doesn’t the tribe apply for a land swap themselves?

If “God created their people at this site and gave them the land”, and that “Acorns that provide powder used in many Apache dishes and ceremonies have more significance when harvested in this area”, then that means there are less important places, and places that only produce very poor acorns that they can give up.

That would be a small price to pay to protect ones “Garden of Eden”, would it not?

Are they willing to trade, or do they just want to expand their land without having to buy title?

Hey Nighthawk,
Which is it; low wage mining jobs, or high wage mining jobs?

And no President is breaking his word!  Mining and land swaps (and even conversion of USFS/BLM land to private property), etc. have always been part of the National Forest system.  The intent of the law was to utilize the land for the best use, specifically mining, logging, farming, grazing, etc. as well as recreation.  If that wasn’t the intent, why didn’t the architects of the numerous acts stop the activity when it immediately started?  Or why didn’t they explicitly write those concerns into law?  It’s because they believed in and coined the term “wise use”, and they were attempting to stop unregulated logging, etc.  They weren’t trying to prevent wise use.  We may disagree what wise use means, but case law and our countries demand for raw materials implicitly make the case what is.

Resolution isn’t trying to mine land Wilderness land!!!  It’s land which is currently open to mining use!  If it’s so sacred to the Apaches, they need to arrange for a swap for land less important to them.

You really need to take a course in mineral economics because your statement is full of errors.

Have a nice weekend, it’s Friday!!

Sep 17, 2010, 3:38 pm
-1 +3

@Georg Pawer and have you forgotten they were ripped from their land to begin with?  Have you forgotten the land which was stolen from them?  Have you even any shred of awareness of what it is like to have your life forcibly taken from you and then moved from location to location without so much as a humanitarian consideration?

hmm…  Constitution Day today…  How appropriate…

Sep 18, 2010, 8:09 pm
-1 +4

This is our land, and our people have gathered acorns here for over a thousand years along with other Tribes. These are White Oaks. There is no other place like it on earth, and right near it is Apache Leap that will be destroyed as well. Both religious, and historical. One of a kind places that can be found no where else. Where it may have no meaning to some of you this is our Country as well, and they do to us. We want something left for our childrens children.

Sep 30, 2010, 10:24 am
-3 +1

Get over it - no ethnic group has ever escaped genocide or terrible persecution. Native Americans have huge chunks of land now, lots of free money and legal rights.  Are you seriously comparing this case with the Trail of Tears or Wounded Knee?  This is not their private property - they don’t have any greater right or voice on this issue than any other American.  No I have not been personally forced from my land - neither have they been moved or going to be removed in the current situation under debate.  They are not trying to take Apache owned land!  If they were, I would fight it.  They gave the Sioux the Black Hills and stole it from them to mine the gold.  I love gold mining, but that was a crime!  I would love to go back stop the mining of the Black Hills, but I cannot. It is the past.  AND THIS IS NOT IN ANY WAY COMPARIABLE TO THE BLACK HILLS, WOUNDED KNEE OR THE TRAIL OF TEARS!!!  Don’t dare to lessen those crimes to affect this situation.

At Nighthawk, this land used to be called Ours, but now it is the United States of America.  There are rules which control the management of USFS lands.  You have to follow the rules or change them in the legislature.  If you prefer to keep the White Oaks, you can petition to trade some of you land for it.  Times have changed; you can’t expand your territory anymore.  What of the people who had it before you?  The Apache raiders were able to control land by claim, but they can’t do that anymore.  Nor can I. 

Go for a trade!  That is what it will take.  Don’t try to use past crimes to try to subvert the rule of law.  We don’t want government by fiat!  Nor did either of our ancestors!  A politician subverting the law because of emotions, though in our favor today, will turn against us in the future.

Sep 30, 2010, 10:25 am
-2 +1

Better to know the rules and follow them.  We as adults have chosen the rules; we should live by them or “adult up” and change them.  Just as you build wealth slowly, you have to change the system slowly.  Fast changes result in anarchy.  So no I haven’t forgotten land was taken or “stolen” in the past.  That just isn’t the issue here.

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Jennifer A. Johnson/Cronkite News Service

Apache Leap towers over Superior. Resolution Copper Co. wants to mine in an area east of the community.


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