Legacy of a Desecration
Protect The 1st works with a coalition of religious liberty advocates to support the efforts of the Apache Stronghold to prevent the utter destruction of their sacred site.
This site in the Tonto National Forest, known as Oak Flat, is the sole place for the Western Apache to perform key religious ceremonies. What Mount Sinai is for the Jews and the Vatican is for Catholics, Oak Flat is for the Apache.
In a last-minute, midnight Congressional deal, the Apache’s sacred land was targeted in a land swap deal to allow a foreign mining consortium – Resolution Copper, combining mining companies Rio Tinto with BHP – to obliterate that site. This would be a staggering violation of religious freedom and the Religious Freedom Restoration Act (RFRA), the U.S. Constitution and solemn treaty agreements between the Apache and the U.S. government.
As the Apache exhaust their judicial and administrative remedies, Protect The 1st provides the following graphic – courtesy of the Becket law firm – that shows exactly what this Rio Tinto-BHP project will leave in its wake.