Apache Stronghold has sponsored and organized the 4th Annual March to Save Oak Flat, taking place from Thursday, February 15 through Sunday, February 18. The march will start on the San Carlos Apache Reservation and end at Oak Flat.
The march’s activities are as follows:
Thursday, February 15: Beginning in the Peridot, Ariz. Bashas, follow direction signs. At 4 p.m., blessings at Old San Carlos Memorial will take place, followed by the start of the Sacred Run and March, ending for the evening at the San Carlos Tribal Admin Building.
Friday, February 16: At 8 a.m., meet at the San Carlos Tribal Admin Building to continue the Sacred Run and March. The evening’s endpoint will be near the Globe, Ariz. Dollar Tree, with possible camping available on site.
Saturday, February 17: At 8 a.m., meet at Dollar Tree for the morning prayer, then continue the Sacred Run and March, arriving in Oak Flat at 12 p.m.. Lunch and other activities will follow. Camping is available.
Sunday, February 18: A gathering and breakfast will be held at Oak Flat. Blessings will continue, closing with a Holy Ground Ceremony.
The march is a demonstration against a land trade made by Congress, which exchanged land sacred to the San Carlos Apache to foreign mining company Rio Tinto and its subsidiary Resolution Copper. The proposed mine will leave a mile-wide, 1,000-foot-deep crater in place of the riparian area, which is home to indigenous artifacts, desert wildlife, and recreational activities such as hiking, birding, and rock climbing. The area lies within the Tonto National Forest and is in close proximity to Apache Leap.