By Derrick Broze, The Last American Vagabond
Indigenous nations are continuing their fight against a proposed copper mine at a sacred Apache site in Arizona – a six year battle which has lasted through three administrations.
On March 1, the U.S. Department of Agriculture rescinded their approval for a proposed copper mine which threatens land sacred to the San Carlos Apache and other indigenous tribes. The USDA move came just days before the agency was set to transfer 2,400 acres of federal land for the project. However, the San Carlos Apache and the Apache Stronghold do not believe the battle over Oak Flat is over.
Some of the lands are considered sacred by multiple Native American communities, including the Oak Flat campground. The area is not recognized as part of the San Carlos Apache Reservation, but it has historically been used by the Apache for trading purposes and spiritual ceremonies. The Oak Flat area holds particular significance among the San Carlos Apaches, as it is near the Apache Leap cliffs where Apaches jumped to their death to avoid capture by American troops in the 1870s.