Indigenous Peoples and Human Rights

October 24, 2015

Save Oak Flat Video Wendsler Nosie, English/French by Christine Prat

Apache Wendsler Nosie photo by Christine Prat

Interview de Wendsler Nosie, Apache San Carlos from Christine Prat on Vimeo.

'Apaches never surrendered'
Apache Wendler Nosie: Oak Flat, source of medicine and food, is place for fighting the oldest evil in the world

Video and French subtitles by Christine Prat
Article by Brenda Norrell
Censored News
Oak Flat resistance camp, where Apaches are defending sacred land from
copper mining, sneaked through in the defense bill by Arizona
 Sen. John McCain. Photo by Christine Prat

Chi'Chil'Bilda'Goteel (OAK FLAT) -- Apache Wendsler Nosie describes how he was raised as traditional Apache on San Carlos Apache land, with the knowledge of his real identity, during a time when assimilation was being pushed by the United States government.
Apaches watched the transitions, and the assimilation taking place as the US government created tribal councils.
Today, technology is creating a different society and eliminating much of the way people relate to the earth, even the way people pray, he said.
"Apaches had to say, 'We have to stop, this is not right.'"
Standing on sacred land at Oak Flat, now threatened by copper mining, Nosie describes how everything is all here, for Apache to survive.
"We have to stand up, even if it means giving our life."
It takes 100 years for the oak trees here to produce the acorns. These acorns made the Apache who they are.
Oak Flat is a place of medicine, of food, to continue life.
The message that the Indigenous people are crying out to the world, must be heard, he said.
The Mother Earth has to heal, has to replenish itself.
"We have to find how we are going to survive this change that Mother Earth is going through."
Nosie said the dark places must see the light, including politicians and Congressmen.
Apache are fighting the oldest evil of all evils, in their fight against Resolution Copper. 
Resolution Copper and Rio Tinto are destroying people around the world. They are even destroying their own people.
"We are all going to battle against the most evil thing in this world."
Nosie, pointing out the water, animals, and life here, describes the sacredness of Oak Flat and what it offers.
"Where else are we going to go?"
Nosie said the solution is to come together in a spiritual way.
"If we don't, we all have failed."
"We have the ability to do what is right."
"The Apaches are willing to fight all the way."
Nosie said anyone who stands with them is a member of their family.
Apache never surrendered.

Listen to the video above for all of Wendsler's comment. Special thanks to Christine Prat and her husband Theo for traveling to Oak Flat for our coverage.

Also see: Censored News interviews and photos from this same visit to Oak Flat. Naelyn Pike, Wendsler's granddaughter, describes what this ceremonial area means to Apaches and particularly to Apache youths:

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