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Indigenous peoples of the Americas are marginalized in U.S. history. Perhaps is it because the writers of history are ashamed of our past behaviors or we want to remain ignorant of the atrocities committed against people who were here thousands of years before we arrived.
However, if you have an ear and an eye for the beautiful indigenous of our Nation, you will not find a stronger, more committed people.
Naelyn Pike of the Chiricahua Apache is one such woman who refuses to have her voice not heard. Pike is a young woman of the San Carlos Apache Tribe living in Globe, Arizona who is actively involved in protect Oak Flat, a sacred place to the Apache people.
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Oat Flat is threatening by a copper mining operation in Arizona, dubbed the Copper State in addition to its other epithet, the Grand Canyon State. Resolute Cooper, a mining operation, was given Federal land in the Tonto National Forest of Arizona to operate a 7,000 feet deep copper mining pit. The area Resolute Copper wanted to mine in what is considered sacred land and was set aside in 1955 by President Eisenhower’s Executive Order as sacred to the San Carlos Apache.
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The mining operation would destroy the land, water, and way of life for the San Carlos Apache and Pike is not standing for it. She is part of a collective voice of people who wish to stop the land grab and preserve the Apache way of life. Her work and the work of countless other indigenous people throughout the Nation is often hushed, but with the whole world looking at how the United State treats its indigenous people since the controversial Dakota Pipe Line, the Nation cannot maintain its silence much longer.