Sacred Native American land to be traded to a foreign mining giant
Arizona's Oak Flat, a site considered holy to the Apache, is slated to be transferred to a mining company, but many are fighting the controversial move.
Oak Flat is a popular campground and hiking spot in Arizona’s Tonto National Forest, about 65 miles east of Phoenix. But this mountainous area, with plentiful emory oaks and beautiful vistas, is much more than that to the Apache, including Wendsler Nosie Sr., former chairman of the San Carlos Apache Tribe, who lives in an RV on site.
To Nosie and many others, the site is holy land. “It’s just like Mount Sinai,” he says—a place of divine revelation, where deities live. “It’s part of our identity as a people.”
But for years, the Resolution Copper company has sought to acquire this land, known to the Apache people as Chich’il Biłdagoteel. Beneath the surface, a couple miles down, is one of the