|San Carlos Apache Naelyn Pike testifies to Save Oak Flat, before a Congressional committee on Thursday in Washington. Photo by Steve Pavey.|
Apache Naelyn Pike Standing Strong for Native Youths in Washington: 'We will not be silenced'
Article by Brenda Norrell
Photos by Steve Pavey
French translation by Christine Prat
WASHINGTON -- Apache Naelyn Pike of the Apache Stronghold testified during a Congressional hearing to Save Oak Flat, sounding out a loud message that Apaches will not be silenced and the youths will fight for their future.
“I am proud to be a member of the Apache Stronghold," Pike testified on Thursday. "Through massacre, forced removal from the land, and sending children to far-off boarding schools, the United States has tried to stifle Native voices and suppress our culture. I am here today to say that the next generation will not be silenced. Native youth understand that it is now our responsibility to stand together proudly and ensure our culture is protected for our children and our children's children."
Pike said Apache ceremonies are carried out at sacred land at Oak Flat. This sacred place would be destroyed by the proposed Resolution Copper Mine, as the result of the United States' back door deal.