WASHINGTON The House Subcommittee on Indigenous Peoples of the United States will hear testimony today at 2:00 p.m. on the recent destruction of Native American sacred sites at the southern border in Arizona.

The hearing, entitled “Destroying Sacred Sites and Erasing Tribal Culture: The Trump Administration's Construction of the Border Wall” will include testimony from Tohono O’odham Nation Chairman Ned Norris, Jr.; Dr. Anna Maria Ortiz, director, Natural Resources and Environment, U.S. Government Accountability Office; and Association on American Indian Affairs Executive Director Shannon Keller O’Loughlin. Assistant Secretary of Indian Affairs, U.S. Department of the Interior, Tara Sweeney is invited to testify.

In recent weeks, construction crews contracted by the U.S. Customs and Border Protection agency (CBP) have been blasting through the Roosevelt easement in southern Arizona that includes the Organ Pipe Cactus National Monument, which is part of the traditional homelands of the Tohono O’odham Nation.

Sign demonstrates "there borders were not our borders" many indigenous people believe.
Photo by Darren Thompson.

The monument is sacred to the Tohono O’odham Nation, and the area has also been designated as a biosphere reserve by the United Nations because it is full of rare plants and animals.

Chairman Norris is set to testify on the federal government’s lack of tribal consultation with the Tohono O’odham Nation regarding the wall being built where there are sacred sites.

VIEW LIVE STREAM ON WEDNESDAY, FEB. 26TH, 2020 AT 2:00PM EST HERE

O’Loughlin will testify to the vital importance of sacred sites to diverse Native American cultures and religions and how the Department of Homeland Security’s blasting of sites sacred for the Tohono O’odham Nation reflects the current Administration’s attempt to recklessly desecrate sacred land by refusing to consult with Tribes.

Subcommittee for Indigenous Peoples of the United States Hearing 

HEARING: Destroying Sacred Sites and Erasing Tribal Culture: The Trump Administration’s Construction of the Border Wall

WHEN: Wednesday, February 26, 2020, at 2:00 p.m. Eastern time

WHERE: 1324 Longworth House Office Building

Panel I 

The Honorable Tara Sweeney (Invited)

Assistant Secretary of Indian Affairs

U.S. Department of the Interior

Washington, D.C. 

Dr. Anna Maria Ortiz

Director, Natural Resources and Environment

U.S. Government Accountability Office

Washington, D.C.

Panel II

The Honorable Ned Norris, Jr.

Chairman

The Tohono O’odham Nation

Sells, Arizona

Ms. Shannon Keller O’Loughlin

Executive Director

Association on American Indian Affairs

Rockville, Maryland

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Author: Native News Online Staff