August 2020

Indigenous Peoples and Human Rights

Friday, January 13, 2012

O'otham: A March For Our Ancestors

A March For Our Ancestors

January 31st through February 3th

District 7 to Sacaton’s Veteran’s Park

Shap Kaij Hahajun,

This is notice to all O’othham brothers and sisters that after many years of attempting to work in a respectful manner with the tribal government of Gila River, we who support our traditional teachings of properly caring for and respecting our Huhugam Ancestors, have exhausted all our attempts at asking the tribal government show proper respect to our Huhugam by immediately reburying their remains.

Right now there are at least 1,200 Huhugam remains locked in a storage room under control of the tribal government. The tribe has allowed this disrespect to continue, refusing to release the remains for reburial. Many attempts by grassroots and tribal groups and individual O’othham have not convinced the tribe to release the remains to be respectfully reburied.

For years the tribal government has been asked that our Huhugam Ancestors be properly respected and reburied in a timely manner. To this day, the tribe refuses to do this.

As O'othham, we have the right to have a tribe that shows respect to our Ancestors and to us. When this is not done, it causes negative things to happen in our lands, and this is what is taking place. We need to regain our balance and we need to have our Ancestors reburied immediately.

After years of hoping the tribal government would show respect to our Ancestors, the time has come for a different approach. It has been decided to let all our O’othham relatives know that your Ancestors, your family members, who are related to us all, are being held hostage by the tribal government. This is one of the most disrespectful acts that can be done to you and your Relatives.

What you can do: Take care of and protect your O’othham brothers and sisters and your homeland; respect the elders and children; respect yourself; get your O’othham brothers and sisters together and prepare for the march; let your tribal leaders know that you do not like how the tribe is disrespecting our Huhugam; tell others about how the tribe is disrespecting our Ancestors; tell the world you will not stand for this disrespect of us and our Ancestors.

This March for our Ancestors will travel from Piipash Ki'ihhim (District 7) to Ge'e Kih Ki'ihhim (Sacaton, District 3). The distance is approximately 45 miles and will take about four days.

This will be a major sacrifice on behalf of our Ancestors, but it is necessary in order for the tribe to see we demand our Ancestors' remains be immediately reburied.

This gathering will require much effort on your part and much preparation. It is a community led gathering which seeks only to bring respect to our Ancestors.

All relatives from the O'othham Hehemajkam (Nations) are welcome and needed to participate in this march in solidarity for our common Huhugam Ancestors. O'othham from Tohono, from Ak Chin, from Akimel, and from Onk Akimel will participate in this important gathering.

We must join together and stop this disrespect taking place!

Let us make the earth tremble with our songs of goodness and respect on behalf of our Ancestors! This is why you have been placed here at this time! Join us and we will become strong again! Bring your children so they may begin to learn the way we respect and care for one another! Bring your elders so they may teach us how to care for one another!

Tell your relatives and those who support us to get ready for this journey of strength and goodness!

Your time has arrived, take hold of your fears and embrace the goodness that our Huhugam offer to you!

Prepare your heart, your children, your elders and your spirit for this beautifully powerful gathering of O'othham strength!

Schedule for the March:Schedule for the March

Tuesday, January 31: Start from District 7 Service Center or Recreation area and camp at the Lone Butte Treatment Center

Distance: 15 miles

Wednesday, February 1: Start from Lone Butte Treatment Center and camp at "M" Mountain area

Distance: 7 miles

Thursday, February 2: Start from "M" Mountain area and camp at District 5 Veterans Building

Distance: 6 miles

Friday, February 3: Start from District 5 Veterans Building to Sacaton Veterans Park

Distance: 8 miles

For more information, donate supplies or volunteer, contact, or Jiivik Siiki on Facebook, or

No comments: