NCAI calls for tribal consultation before wall is built on tribal land: Tohono O’odham Nation will be impacted
Published February 17, 2017
WASHINGTON — During its Winter Executive Session in the nation’s capital this week the National Congress of American Indians (NCAI) passed a resolution in opposition of a wall being constructed on the southern border of the United States on tribal lands without consent of the affected tribes.
The resolution is in response to President Trump signing Executive Order 13767 on January 25, 2017 that calls for the building of the wall he made a key component of his presidential campaign. Supporters would chant “build the wall.”
The Tohono O’odham Nation in Arizona has 75 miles of its reservation that is an international border with Mexico. The tribe has openly said they will not allow the wall to be constructed.
NCAI maintains in its resolution that a continuous, physical wall on the southern border would further divide historic tribal lands and communities; prevent tribal members from making traditional crossings for domestic, ceremonial, and religious purposes; prevent wildlife from conducting migrations essential for survival and general life, health and existence; injure endangered species such as the jaguar and other wildlife sacred to tribes; destroy endangered and culturally significant plants; militarize the lands on the southern boundary; and disturb or destroy tribal archeological, sacred sites, and human remains.
The nation’s oldest organization that was 1944 wants the federal government to have consultation, collaboration, and direct tribal participation by all affected tribes in the development of the Department of Homeland Security Secretary’s comprehensive study of the security of the southern border and any policies or actions implementing Executive Order 13767 and other border security measures.
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