Photo courtesy: Nicholet Deschine Parkhurst
Published March 14, 2016
OAK FLAT—The 2016 presidential campaign stopped by Indian Country yesterday, Sunday, March 13, as Jane Sanders, the wife of Democratic presidential candidate U.S. Senator Bernie Sanders made a visit to Oak Flat.
Leaders and tribal citizens of the San Carlos Apache Tribe of Arizona welcomed her to Oak Flat, which has been a source of controversy because of federal legislation that will allow a copper mine to be constructed and operated on the sacred ground. Oak Flat is a site of immense religious and historical meaning, awe-inspiring scenery, and vital to the spiritual life of the Apache people.is of special importance to Senator Sanders.
In November Senator Sanders introduced a bill, the Save Oak Flat Bill, to repeal the land transfer to the mining conglomerate, which was slipped in, through backroom deals, as a midnight rider to the must-pass NDAA in the end of 2014.
“I’m so excited that presidential candidate Bernie Sanders’ wife, Jane, has committed to visit Oak Flat to discuss the occupation by the Stronghold,” stated San Carlos Apache Tribal Council Member Wendsler Nosie, Sr. last week.
“Federal policies must change for us and all Americans in this country in order to secure the future for those yet to be born. We must not lose these holy places, for they are the fabric of who we are to Mother Earth.”
Ms. Sanders’ visit came just two days after the National Park Service announced Friday that it has listed Oak Flat on the National Register of Historic Places.