This story is published as part of the Global Indigenous Affairs Desk, an Indigenous-led collaboration between Grist, High Country News, ICT, Mongabay, and Native News Online.
The San Carlos Apache Tribe has taken its fight to the United Nations to save its traditional territory in Arizona from a massive copper mine. Chi’chil Bildagoteel, also known as Oak Flat, is home to one of the largest sources of copper in North America, and it is also the tribe’s most sacred site. San Carlos Apache Tribe Chairman Terry Rambler told the U.N. that the destruction of sacred sites is a “major human rights violation,” although he stopped short of describing the plans to mine Oak Flat in those specific terms.
“Oak Flat is a holy site, an area of irreplaceable beauty akin to a church, no different than the Wailing Wall, Temple Mount, Australia’s Juunkan Gorge or Mecca’s Kaaba,” Rambler said in an statement also called an “intervention” before the United Nations Permanent Forum on Indigenous Issues, or UNPFII. “By violating the rights of Apaches to practice our religion and m... Read more