Indigenous Peoples and Human Rights 2020

Saturday, April 14, 2007

Sovereign Nations: Will Deh Cho become another Tohono O'odham Nation?

Migrant detention center on Tohono O'odham land
Photo by Ofelia Rivas

Sovereign Nations: Will Deh Cho become another Tohono O'odham Nation?

By Brenda Norrell

SELLS, Ariz. -- On Tohono O'odham tribal land in Arizona, US troops came in for military maneuvers and never left. The military took over Tohono O'odham tribal land. Now they are everywhere, an occupying army, along with the Border Patrol, immigration agents and the National Guard. They shine spotlights into homes, tailgate people and trample sacred places and fragile desert plants. Every O'odham is under constant high-tech surveillance from the air and on land. They threaten, harass and intimidate O'odham and their guests, with the military prevailing in this militarized zone.

Tohono O'odham tribal leaders have said they are powerless to do anything about the military's presence, because of the risk of losing federal funding. Homeland Security, Border Patrol and immigration agencies have taken over here and taken away the power of decision making from the O'odham people.

The most recent addition is a migrant detention center on tribal land near the border, which most O'odham say is a violation of the fundamental spiritual principle of the Him'daag, which makes people truly human beings.
Canada's unwanted military invasion of Deh Cho:

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