As KJZZ reported, the tribal leadership of Tohono O’odham Nation in southern Arizona refuse to support the border wall project on their land.
The tribe’s chairman and vice chair stated that the tribe had always try to cooperate, but according to them, it is still early to say how President Trump will impact them.
Here’s what Vice Chairman Verlon Jose stated:
“Over my dead body will a wall be built. I don’t wish to die but I do wish to work together with people so we can truly protect the homeland of this place they call the United States of America. Not only for our people but for the American people.”
The Washington Post reports that the tribe’s reservation covers 75 miles of the international border. The reservation is the size of Connecticut that for thousands of years extended south into Sonora, Mexico.
The tribe already has issues with border patrol when they try to visit relatives in Mexico thanks to the steel-post fence. And Trump’s wall will completely isolate them from their relatives.
The Tohono O’odham Nation were loud and clear when they refused to support the wall.
Without the tribe’s support, there will be a 75-mile-wide gap in Trump’s wall.
According to Amy Juan, an O’odham tribe member and co-founder of the Tohono O’odham Hemajkam Rights Network,not only would the wall be “devastating” for the tribe, but it would also negatively impact the animals, wildlife and water that flows across the border.
Here’s what Juan stated for The Washington Post:
“The effects would be bigger than ourselves. As a people, as a community, it would be a literal separation from our home. Half of the traditional lands of our people lie in Mexico.”
The tribe’s site states that 28,000 members occupy Tohono O’odham land in southwestern Arizona today. Nine of the O’odham communities in Mexico lie directly south of the 2.8 million-acre Tohono O’odham Nation.
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