Oak Flat, another story of many in which the federal government is trying to destruct a sacred site in the name of profit. Now we all know this story, these stories pop up in our movies, books, and other media. In those stories, we are taught that money and greed does no good to a person’s soul. We feel bad for the good guys who are trying their best to fight a corporation. Of course, to make the story good there is a long and hard carried out fight, however the good guys always win. Greed and evil do not prosper in the stories of Western media. So why can we not have those same successes in real life; for land that matters for fights that are happening right now? The extraction and destruction of a sacred site is deep especially looking at it as a continuation of the forced colonization of indigenous people. The space the Apache holds sacred has songs and stories tied to that spot. There is knowledge, food, relationships, and space that exist in Oak Flat. Just the other day my brother and I picked a few wild onions and Cholla buds to make a nice vegan dish for our family. My younger brothers and sisters are Yavapai/Apache on their dad side. I always encourage them to get involved and to develop a relationship with the land. How can they do that when the government rather gives it away for billions of dollars that I am sure my siblings will not see one penny? Nevertheless, they will face endless harm on their culture and identity because Oak Flat is one less sacred place that will be available for them and their future generations. Just like San Francisco peak, the Verde Valley, and the depletion of the Verde River. Soon enough there will be nothing for my brothers and sisters to have any ties to the land. That pisses me off.
The words on the paper will never be able to scream out the anger and pain I feel. My only hope is that many will see the words and feel the same pain or have felt the same pain and are tired of it. All over indigenous land, which is the entire world, is facing destruction. Day by day inherent knowledge is being lost because elected authoritarian figures feel we need more capitalism and more opportunities to waste our precious minds on entertainment that takes us away from what really matters. Water, air, land, culture, memories, family, our neighbors that is what matters; knowing that I can give birth in a world that honors the stories and knowledge of the land so my future generations can flourish, that is what matters. Yes, Betsey Johnson, Coach, Dolce and Gabana make some nice shit. Yes, going to the movies or concerts are fun. And yes, sitting down watching reality TV with a big bowl of gluttony sounds like a relaxing time. However, that shit won’t last and when there is no more water to power your electricity or no more gas to ship in the latest trends, or no more beautiful natural spots to escape, you will then realize you should have done something sooner.
Lets stand behind the Apaches in their fight for their sacred land and lets all start mobilizing and stand in solidarity with the fighters who are trying their very best to create a sustainable world for all of us. Let’s not compete anymore, let’s not try to prove ourselves anymore, that can only take place when our Earth is not in pain. But we have a crisis here and I am sure if you were facing the same threat to something that means so much to you, I am sure you would want the world on your side. If we come together as one community, I am sure corruption will step back and we can have a successful story just like the movies.
Here is a link to the Saving Oak Flat Facebook page: