69 online
Most Popular Choices
Share on Facebook 30 Printer Friendly Page More Sharing
Exclusive to OpEd News:
OpEdNews Op Eds    H3'ed 10/2/15

Arizona Congressmen Steal Apache Sacred Land and Natural Treasure for Foreign Mining Corporations

By       (Page 1 of 3 pages)   1 comment
Message Move to Amend

By Renee Babcock

Baase Pike and Qualiyah Nosie enjoy the natural springs at Oak Flat over the weekend. This water flows down from Oak Flat into Gaan Canyon on its east side.
Baase Pike and Qualiyah Nosie enjoy the natural springs at Oak Flat over the weekend. This water flows down from Oak Flat into Gaan Canyon on its east side.
(Image by Anna Jeffery)
  Details   DMCA

When corporations are erroneously considered people and spending money is a form of protected speech, property rights become more valuable than human rights. Despite twenty-seven changes over the last 226 years, the United States Constitution continues to be used to enshrine property rights for wealthy white men while conspicuously excluding human rights for everyone else.

Few understand this better than Native Americans, whose ancestors were cheated, robbed and systematically killed by white America. This legacy of brutality is echoed in a recent land-exchange bill which passed unnoticed within last December's defense appropriations bill despite being repeatedly rejected by Congress for over a decade.

Arizona Senators John McCain and Jeff Flake added the land exchange, using a last minute controversial maneuver to slip the unrelated provision into the 2015 National Defense Authorization Act, a $585-billion must-pass military spending bill. The provision gives 2,422 mineral-rich acres of the Tonto National Forest, including Apache ancestral land known as Oak Flat, to Resolution Copper, a subsidiary to the two largest mining corporations in the world, British-owned Rio Tinto and Australian-owned BHP Billiton.

Unsurprisingly, the chief architects of this land grab have been working with mining corporations to pass their agendas in typical quid pro quo fashion. Sen. McCain is perennially the top Congressional recipient of Rio Tinto's campaign contributions and before running for Senate, Flake was a Washington lobbyist for Rio Tinto, which has spent over $10 million in lobbying in the past decade.

Now, the San Carlos Apache are fighting for their religious freedom, cultural heritage, and future. This summer the Apache Stronghold coalition caravanned across the country, speaking at Neil Young concerts, flash mobbing Time Square, and arriving at the Capitol to protest the US government illegally handing over their sacred land to foreign mining corporations that will destroy it and take its mineral wealth for their own profit.

The Land-Exchange Violates US law, Federal Protections, and Indigenous Religious Freedom

The land is sacred to the Western Apache and Yavapai whose spiritual beings live within Oak Flat and who have used the site for generations. These religious and cultural ties have been recognized and protected by the federal government since 1955, when President Eisenhower decreed Oak Flat a Forest Service Multiple-Use Area, specifically closed to mining.

Next Page  1  |  2  |  3

(Note: You can view every article as one long page if you sign up as an Advocate Member, or higher).

Must Read 1  
Rate It | View Ratings

Move To Amend Social Media Pages: Facebook page url on login Profile not filled in       Twitter page url on login Profile not filled in       Linkedin page url on login Profile not filled in       Instagram page url on login Profile not filled in

The Move to Amend Coalition is a grassroots campaign to amend the Constitution to state that artificial entities such as corporations, unions, and non-profits do not have inherent rights under the Constitution, and that money is not free speech so (more...)
Go To Commenting
The views expressed herein are the sole responsibility of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of this website or its editors.
Writers Guidelines

Contact AuthorContact Author Contact EditorContact Editor Author PageView Authors' Articles
Support OpEdNews

OpEdNews depends upon can't survive without your help.

If you value this article and the work of OpEdNews, please either Donate or Purchase a premium membership.

If you've enjoyed this, sign up for our daily or weekly newsletter to get lots of great progressive content.
Daily Weekly     OpEd News Newsletter
   (Opens new browser window)

Most Popular Articles by this Author:     (View All Most Popular Articles by this Author)

Trump's Infrastructure Plan: A Corporate Con by a Corporate Conman

War Profiteering Poisons American Soldiers

Follow the Trillions (If You Can)

Corporate Money Fuels the New Jim Crow

SCOTUS has gone rogue

Coming to a City Near You: Oligarchy, Detroit Style

To View Comments or Join the Conversation:

Tell A Friend