Protect Oak Flat Today and Everyday
WHEREAS, the U.S. Congress did pass the Southeastern Arizona Land Exchange and Conservation Act as part of the national defense budget; and
WHEREAS, this Act takes away Oak Flat, a most holy and spiritual area known to us as Chich’il Bildagoteel and gives it to Resolution Copper, a foreign mining conglomerate;
WHEREAS, today, we are gathered to protect Oak Flat, because we want the world to know that we are here to pray for Oak Flat, and that through the power of our prayers and the strength of our purpose we hope that Congress will realize the error of its ways and repeal the Act;
WHEREAS, today, I call upon everyone and all nations – tribes, natives and indigenous people – to join with us to commence our fight to take back Oak Flat;
WHEREAS, today, through the power of nonviolence, prayer and the strength of unity, we will demonstrate to Resolution Copper and the world that the land exchange is not yet an accomplished fact;
WHEREAS, today, we come together and show that no one will stand for the nightmare posed by Resolution Copper – we have successfully struggled for the past eight years to keep this dastardly legislation from passing through Congress, we have stood together with
countless others – tribes, environmental organizations, churches, even many in Congress, Republican and Democrat alike, but despite our efforts, under the cover of darkness, this legislation was buried deep within a must pass bill for the benefit of the military that provided no review, no choice, and today we say we will not stand for that;
WHEREAS, today, we tell the world that we have a dream that one day our children and their children to follow may freely practice the religious ceremonies that come from our Creator, that we must stand together and fight those, like Resolution Copper, that seek to take our religious freedom, our most human right, that if we do not, our beliefs, our spiritual lives, the very foundation of our language, our culture and our belief will no longer be in balance, and we will become undone, that if we do not, the taking of one people’s human right threatens all human and religious rights; and
WHEREAS, today, we tell the world that we have a dream that united through prayer and protest we can defeat Resolution Copper and take back Oak Flat;
WHEREAS, today, we must remind the world that Resolution Copper represents a dark and pernicious force of foreign interests, one that seeks to justify their mine as a matter of economics and jobs, but that no matter what they say they cannot justify the spiritual and environmental harm the mine will have – not only will the mine destroy a sacred site, it will destroy the environment and pose a long-term economic harm, while taking away water that the region needs, some 630,000 acre feet of water, the very lifeblood of humanity;
WHEREAS, today, we have a dream that together, the world will see that our fight to take back Oak Flat is not simply a just cause, but a sacred cause for a sacred site, a sacred cause for Mother Earth.
NOW, THEREFORE, I, TERRY RAMBLER, Chairman of the San Carlos Apache Tribe, by virtue of the authority vested in me by the Amended Constitution and Bylaws of the Tribe, do hereby proclaim this day Oak Flat Day, the day we fight to take back Oak Flat. I call upon all nations, tribes, natives and indigenous people, and everyone throughout the world to join with us, to pray, in accordance with our own faiths and consciences , for the blessing of Oak Flat, for its protection , for its safety and for our Creator’s continued guidance, grace, and protection so that Congress may repeal the Act and so that we can take back Oak Flat.
IN WITNESS WHEREOF, I have hereunto set my signature together with the leaders present this Seventh Day