|Ophelia Rivas photo by Jason Jaacks|
By Ophelia Rivas
O'odham means people, Tohono means desert, we are desert people. Our vast homelands became occupied by the Republic of Mexico and the United States of America. The International boundary displaced O'odham in the two countries.
The foreigners imposed a census, to count and number each person, they imposed education that removed children from their families, they imposed family separation to try and dismantle our culture.
Now they impose immigration laws on the first peoples, physical violence, detainment, arrests and deportation.
The O'odham VOICE Against the WALL started as an organization when it witnessed the armed military called the border patrol force my elders, all from ages 60 to 80-years-old, were forced to their knees with heavy weapons pointed at them, and asked to produce proof of citizenship in a language the Elders did not understand.