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Road across Oak Flat on Forest Service property already closed © Robin Silver

Another Treaty Broken

Goodbye to the “1852 Treaty between the U.S. and the Apache Nation of Indians.”

Apache Leap © Robin Silver

Apache Leap © Robin Silver

On February 12, U.S. District Court Judge Steven Logan refused to order a halt to the proposed Resolution Copper Mine on Oak Flat, known as Chi’chil Bildagoteel, in Arizona. Steps for the controversial land transfer from the government to the miners were completed that Friday morning. Oak Flat is listed on the National Register of Historic Places for its spiritual and cultural significance to several southwest Indian tribes. (Learn more at apache-stronghold.com.)

The Trump administration wormed its way out of this treaty by saying that the San Carlos were never formerly designated a “sovereign nation.” And Judge Logan further stated that “the exclusive right of the United States to extinguish Indian title has never been doubted. And whether it be done by treaty, by the sword, by purchase, by the exercise of complete dominion adverse to the right of occupancy, or otherwise, its justness is not open to inquiry in the courts.”

Gan Dancer at night © Robin Silver

Gan Dancer at night © Robin Silver

That’s pretty much how treaties were treated historically, but perhaps help is on the way. Arizona Representative Raúl Grijalva and Vermont Senator Bernie Sanders plan to introduce the “Save Oak Flat Act” in Congress to repeal this egregious land exchange. When they do, we can send our support. And though time has run out for public comment, click here to see how you can take action in other and more influential ways.

Read Apache Stronghold’s February 12, 2021 press release here for more information.

Featured Image: Road across Oak Flat on Forest Service property already closed © Robin Silver

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