The update is lamentable. On June 24, the 9th US Circuit Court of Appeals ruled that the copper mine can proceed on the land even though a lawsuit filed by Apache Stronghold is pending. Spokesperson for the Apache Stronghold, Dr. Wendsler Nosie, Sr., stated that the nonprofit will appeal the ruling to the US Supreme Court. You can read more about this story at Native News Online and more about the importance of Oak Flat and the work of Apache Stronghold here.
While lamentable, the ruling is not shocking. Centuries guided by the Doctrine of Discovery naturally leads to such decisions both in acts by Congress and from judicial benches. History has led us here, and as people seeking the ways of the beloved community we have much to learn about that history. In an op ed, “The Dilemma of the Fourth of July”, written by Mark Charles and republished by Native News Online last week, the author quotes Canadian aboriginal leader, Georges Erasmus:
Where common memory is lacking, where people do not share in the same past, there can be no real community[;] where community is to be formed, common memory must be created.
The truth of these words entreats us to seek and learn stories of the past that have been silenced and buried. They invite our open minds and hearts to hear another side than what has been presented to us. Why? So that we have a chance to form common memory. So that we have a chance for real community. So that we have a chance for true healing of souls.