This week the People’s Republic of China made claims again on the island of Taiwan, this time threatening force and scrambling jet fighters at the U.S. plane approaching Taiwan earlier today with U.S. Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi aboard the U.S. passenger jet. Such hypocrisy by China, given that China continues to deny the sovereignty and international human rights of Apaches through China’s major ownership share in the Anglo Australian mining giant, Rio Tinto. And they all plan to destroy our sacred place, Chi’chil Biłdagoteel, which in English means: “Emory Oak extends on a Level”, or “Oak Flat.”
China owns over 10% of Rio Tinto (RIO), and Rio is in a joint venture, Resolution Copper Mine (RCM), with the other Anglo Australian mining giant and competitor BHP, seeking to mine copper ore from deep within Oak Flat which is Apache Treaty land currently mapped as U.S. Department of Agriculture public land and campground, managed by the U.S. Forest Service as part of the Tonto National Forest.
But, since time immemorial it has always been an Apache Sacred Place, Chi’chil Biłdagoteel, which in English means: “Emory Oak extends on a Level.” Oak Flat is a federally registered Apache Traditional Cultural Property and National Historic District within the mapped lands of the Apaches, per the U.S. Treaty of 1852 with the Western Apache Nation.
Hundreds of Native American governments support us Apaches in our defense of Oak Flat, with many dozens of formal governmental, charitable, and religious organizations’ statements opposing the mining of Oak Flat and the 2-mile wide, 1,000-foot crater that China, Rio Tinto, and BHP would cause to collapse and fall into the earth there. And, the copper ore that would be extracted from Oak Flat is destined for China’s consumption, shipped to a smelter in Asia via the Port of Guaymas, Mexico.
Dr. Wendsler Nosie Sr., former Chairman of the San Carlos Apache Tribe and founder of the Apache Stronghold asks:
“The question for the United States Government becomes why do you support and even go so far as to say you "protect" the sovereignty of Taiwan, when domestically, you are violating the very sovereignty of the original inhabitants of this land by giving away sacred places to mining corporations like Rio Tinto, knowing full well that the Copper ore is going to China?
"So it leaves me to think that by the U.S. Government giving exemptions of federal laws to Resolution Copper, that the U.S. Government should be aware that control of Arizona land, water, and its resources will be for foreign gain, the U.S. Government still embracing the great deception of the birth of America. I see this as a war on Mother Earth and the indigenous people are left to protect her.
"I hope the politicians and corporations are not working together to push the Biden Administration Defense production act broadening the destruction of America, again putting Indigenous Tribal lands and Sacred sites in danger."