Friday, May 29, 2015

Head Down to Oak Flat for the Weekend: Concert & Advocacy Conference

Posted By on Fri, May 29, 2015 at 1:25 PM

There is a two-day camp and educational conference (hosted by Apache Stronghold) this weekend to learn about future actions in the fight to protect Oak Flat. 

Drive down there early tomorrow morning. The Protect Sacred Oak Flat Conference and Apache Stronghold Spiritual Gathering starts at 11 a.m. with traditional Apache songs, followed by a free concert featuring Native American artists like Nataanii Means and Frank Waln, DJ ScapeGoat and Indigenize. At 5 p.m. that day, you can have some reflection time with the Apache Mountain Spirit Dances, who will also do a blessing ceremony for everyone present.

On Sunday, the advocacy portion kicks off at 9 a.m. Afterwards, there's a look into art as a positive outlet for youth, an eco tour to experience Oak Flat and "introduce participants to the land being threatened and under attack," a press release said. During the spiritual tour, visitors can get a better understanding of the San Carlos Apache Tribe and the Yavapai-Apache Nation's view of Oak Flat as a holy ground.

"Apache Community meeting in Oak Flat campground with the San Carlos community will discuss future work and present an action plan for protecting Oak Flat," the release said.

There will free dinner both days, but bring your own camping gear. 

Do it. 

For more info, visit the Saving Oak Flat campsite Facebook page.

Here's a great summary by Tim Vanderpool about why you should care:
Oak Flat hits close to home for the San Carlos Apache Tribe and the Yavapai-Apache Nation. Both consider the spot, in the high desert outside the former mining town of Superior, to be holy ground. They have conducted sacred ceremonies there since forever.

And since early February, a group called Apache Stronghold has also staged a gritty, ongoing occupation at the site.

As it happens, the Apaches aren't the only ones who care about Oak Flat. Multi-national mining companies likewise harbor deep affection for this place, since it's perched atop a huge copper deposit. Arizona Sen. John McCain cares, too. For years, legislation that would trade away Oak Flat to the mining companies felt flat from lack of support. So in 2014, McCain finally slipped it into an unrelated military spending bill. Subsequently, Oak Flat now belongs to the Resolution Copper Co., which is jointly owned by international mining companies Rio Tinto and BHP Billiton.

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