Oak Flat Holy Land 

A photo essay from recent CPT accompaniment alongside the Apache Stronghold to protect the sacred lands of Chi'chil Bildagoteel, Oak Flat, Arizona.
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five people walk down a road towards the mountains in the distance.
A sign reads "Protect Oak Flat Holy Land" with two medicine wheels and a painting of a person with air swirling around them, a large rock formation in the distance and a sunset.

Protect Oak Flat Holy Land is the purpose and plea of Apache members who treat their land as sacred, as Indigenous Peoples have for centuries. In stark contrast, Resolution Copper treats Oak Flat land as a private resource with intention to mine copper for extraction and profit. Oak Flat is located in the rocky desert hills an hour east of Phoenix, Arizona.

Seven members of Shalom Mennonite Fellowship from Tucson, Arizona, walked with Weldon Nisly, CPT-Turtle Island Solidarity Network reservist, on the sacred land of Oak Flat on Saturday, 22 April 2023. Pastor Carol Rose, another CPT reservist, led a prayer walk. She explained that Apache leader Wendlser Nosie, taught her to prayerfully release whatever does not belong so as to enter into with openness to the sacred gifts it holds for all creation and creatures. 

The prayer walk on Oak Flat sacred land led to the high ridge of the canyon, where each person found a place to prayerfully honour the sacred land in an extended time of silence. Shalom Mennonite Church members’ prayerful presence in Oak Flat was an act of solidarity with Wendsler Nosie and Apache people committed to Protect Oak Flat Holy Land.  

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