We are excited that Mennonite Church USA has joined a diverse group of organizations in signing an amicus brief that will support the Apache Stronghold in their upcoming 9th Circuit Court of Appeals case! Apache Stronghold is a group led by the San Carlos Apache who are engaged in a legal battle for Oak Flat, their sacred site. Mining rights to the sacred site were signed over to Resolution Copper, a subsidiary of foreign mining company Rio Tinto. As we wait for the case to be heard by the 9th Circuit Court of Appeals, there are several action items you can complete:
- If you live near Pasadena, mark down the week of March 20th on your calendar! We don’t yet know the exact court date or what vigils and marches Apache Stronghold plans to hold, but we do know that we want to support them in those endeavors. Be on the lookout for more information about how you participate. If you know for sure you’ll be available, reach out to either Katerina Gea (firstname.lastname@example.org) or Carol Rose (email@example.com).
- Prepare your congregations and organizations to sign on to amicus briefs for the Supreme Court! If Apache Stronghold loses this case, they will head to the Supreme Court and will need our support. If Apache Stronghold wins, there is a great chance that the United States government will appeal at the Supreme Court level, in which case we will also need amicus briefs. The timeline for these briefs won’t be known until after the 9th Circuit Court of Appeals case, but we want to start having conversations with our congregations now so we can be ready.
- Pray! The Apache believe in the power of prayer. We can pray for wisdom and guidance for the Apache’s legal council, for the protection of the land, and for the safety of Apache Stronghold.