Monday, December 8, 2014

Parallel Universe, southwest style

We did a great disservice to the peoples who lived here before we came. We took that we their lands and drove the survivors of our genocide onto reservations. In exchange, we granted them those parcels of land, usually undesirable to the settlers, as sovereign nations. The United States Congress signed treaties and promised to honor them.

Yeah, right.

On December 4, the house of representatives passed the Defense appropriations bill, and thanks to John McCain, there is a little piece tacked onto it that neatly gives 2400 acres of San Carlos Apache sacred tribal lands to an Australian/English copper mining company. That piece of land will be sealed off to tribal use. 

Here is what the tribal chairman has to say about it: 

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
Imagine that was your church property, only this is more so because the entire area is considered holy. The land itself holy and the tribe's spirituality derives from the land. Imagine the government coming in and taking a chunk of your ability to worship God, or pray, or do the rituals of your faith. Not only that, to take away access to your sources of healing, your herbs and medicines. Imagine the government doing that in order to give it to a foreign company who was only interested in destroying it for profit. Wrecking the ecology. Stripping the sacred mountains, laying them flat. Imagine how that feels to a people who cherish the land and find it holy, who find God to inhabit it. 
Imagine that, then go sign this petition to the government. Please.

photo: the San Carlos reservation

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