Tag: Indigenous Communities

September 30, 2020

October 7, 2020
  • The National Park Service cited public safety concerns for its decision this week to prohibit access to a sacred Tohono O’odham site, a move that comes amid rising tensions between border wall protestors and federal agents. The order comes a week after protestors and federal agents clashed during a demonstration at the site of border wall construction through Organ Pipe. News reports said armed agents tried to relocate protestors after repeatedly telling them it was not safe and they had to leave the site.

Tags: Border and Migration Politics, Environment, Fencing, Indigenous Communities, U.S. Policy

September 27, 2020

October 7, 2020
  • O’odham people from both sides of the border met Sunday morning to exchange blessings through an opening in the international boundary that won’t be open much longer. As federal officers watched from their vehicles about a quarter of a mile away, the two groups talked and prayed on the spot where the new border barrier is set to be built near the desert oasis of Quitobaquito Springs.

Tags: Border and Migration Politics, Fencing, Indigenous Communities, U.S. Policy

September 27, 2020

September 29, 2020
  • O’odham people from both sides of the border met Sunday morning to exchange blessings through an opening in the international boundary that won’t be open much longer. As federal officers watched from their vehicles about a quarter of a mile away, the two groups talked and prayed on the spot where the new border barrier is set to be built near the desert oasis of Quitobaquito Springs.

Tags: Border and Migration Politics, Fencing, Indigenous Communities, U.S. Policy

September 9, 2020

September 23, 2020
  • Two O’odham activists protesting the building of the border wall were arrested after blocking construction activity near Quitobaquito Springs in the Organ Pipe Cactus National Monument. The springs in southwestern Arizona are sacred to the Tohono O’odham and Hia-Ced O’odham, and are one of very few natural sources of water along the vast, rugged Arizona borderlands. The area also is at the crossroads of construction efforts to replace existing vehicle barriers with 30-foot steel bollards as part of a $891 million replacement project at Organ Pipe.

Tags: Environment, Fencing, Indigenous Communities

June 22, 2020

June 22, 2020
  • Public Radio International reports on the heightened pressure placed on the Tohono O’odham Nation as the Trump administration attempts to complete construction in Arizona prior to the election. While the government hired environmental and cultural monitors to work on-site, there is only one monitor assigned to the entire swath of land in the Tohono O’odham’s desert region. Environmentalists and community groups hope that one of the several lawsuits filed against the administration will result in an injunction that will delay or halt construction until after a possible transition in the White House.

Tags: Fencing, Human Rights, Indigenous Communities

June 15, 2020

June 15, 2020
  • Arizona Public Media reports on the efforts of the Cocopah peoples to prevent construction on their land in the Colorado River delta between California, Arizona, and Mexico. The Cocopah have prevented construction projects thus far by submitting a court document that emphasized the heightened cost of building on the area’s difficult terrain. Tribal lawyers also state that the area is “the cultural and spiritual heart of the Cocopah homeland” and that a wall would cut off vital access to water and family living on the other side. 

Tags: Environment, Fencing, Human Rights, Indigenous Communities

June 5, 2020

June 5, 2020
  • The Project on Government Oversight publishes an analysis of the Trump administration’s conduct in pursuit of the border wall since 2017. It tracks the waiving of vital laws that protect taxpayers, the environment, and indigenous groups, and how continued construction during the pandemic places workers, families, and border town residents at risk.

Tags: Environment, Fencing, Indigenous Communities, Oversight, Public Health

May 12, 2020

May 12, 2020
  • The Center for Biological Diversity, Defenders of Wildlife, and the Animal Legal Defense Fund sue the Trump administration for taking $7.2 billion from the Defense Department for border wall construction in California, Arizona, New Mexico, and Texas. The suit also challenges six Section 102 waivers fast-tracking the projects despite environmental, public health, and Indigenous protections. 

Tags: Environment, Fencing, Indigenous Communities, Public Health

February 27, 2020

February 27, 2020
  • The U.S. Army and CBP invites members of the press to watch the detonation of a portion of the Organ Pipe Cactus National Monument in Arizona. As the explosives were set off in Arizona, the chair of the Tohono O’odham Nation, Ned Norris Jr., was offering testimony in D.C. regarding the Trump administration’s desecration of the Nation’s ancestral lands – much of which is within or near Organ Pipe.

Tags: Environment, Fencing, Indigenous Communities

February 27, 2020

February 27, 2020
  • The House Committee on Homeland Security’s Subcommittee on Border Security, Facilitation, and Operations hosts the hearing: “Examining the Effect of the Border Wall on Private and Tribal Landowners.”

Tags: Hearings, Indigenous Communities

February 26, 2020

February 26, 2020
  • In Arizona, the killing of the iconic saguaro cactuses is a felony. Despite this, dozens have been destroyed in the past weeks by crews prepping for border construction inside the Organ Pipe Cactus National Monument, which has already been blasted with dynamite for the past month. Outrage and protest from the 28,000-member Tohono O’odham Nation grow more prevalent. Construction has already destroyed ancient burial sites and siphoned an aquifer that provided for the desert oasis and its peoples for 16,000 years.

Tags: Environment, Fencing, Indigenous Communities

February 8, 2020

February 8, 2020
  • The Tohono O’odham Nation announces they were not consulted prior to the blasting of the Organ Pipe Cactus National Monument, despite having sacred sites in the area. The Defense Department awarded $891 million to contractors for construction in the area. The existing barrier has already reduced populations of some of the rarest animals in North America, disrupted pristine wilderness areas, and exacerbated flooding. Proposed construction in Texas will cut through federal wildlife refuges, a state park, the National Butterfly Center, and more indigenous gravesites. 

Tags: Budget, Environment, Fencing, Human Rights, Indigenous Communities

January 3, 2020

January 3, 2020
  • Laiken Jordahl, a spokesman for the Center for Biological Diversity in Arizona, notes most of the Department of Homeland Security’s “Section 102” waivers issued in 2019 affected ecologically sensitive parts of the 90-mile stretch of the Arizona-Mexico border. Section 102 of the 2005 Real ID Act also waives the Native American Graves Protection and Repatriation Act and threatens the ancestral lands of the Tohono O’odham and Hia-Ced O’odham tribes. Rep. Paul Gosar (R-Arizona), a border-wall supporter, tells the Tucson Sentinel that the waivers are necessary “to secure the southern border.”

Tags: Environment, Fencing, Indigenous Communities