Recently a new blog was put together to provide direct information from the O’odham communities resiting Freeway Loop 202. They are planning a Spiritual gathering for September 30. As well as a traditional run the morning of Saturday October 1. Please visit their site Gila River Against Loop 202 and view their Call-out for support and Statement against loop 202
Akimel O’odham Statement Against the South Mountain Loop 202 Freeway extension
From: Villages of District 6 (Lone Butte, Santa Cruz, Gila Crossing, Komatke and Co-op), Gila River Community and Gila River Against Loop 202:
To: Gila River Indian Community tribal government , Arizona Department of Transportation, Maricopa Associations of Governments, and the Federal Highway Administration.
The following is a statement from the Villages of District 6:
Whereas, the Akimel O’odham People are the original people of the District Six Gila River Indian Community, and
Whereas, the District Six Community Akimel O’odham people are trying to maintain their lands through oral history, and sacred sites, the teachings of Se-eh-ha, maintain their inherent way of life including conducting ceremonies, making offerings to the land, waterways and mountains as well as using all the biological and environmental resources of the region as food and medicinal sources and,
Whereas, the Akimel O’odham know that regardless of what environmental and cultural protection laws would be implemented and enforced for this project, the effects of hazardous pollutants from the traffic that would travel the South Mountain Loop 202 Freeway extension, will have a detrimental and injurious effect on the human and biological environment of the region and a devastating effect on all the Akimel O’odham people, culture, traditions, and sacred sites,
Be it further resolved, that we call on the Government of the State of Arizona to enforce their existing environmental and cultural protection laws and stop this project and protect the human and biological environment, culture, and sacred sites of the region,
Be it further resolved, that we call on the United States Government to exercise its environmental justice and trust responsibilities to speak out in defense of the culture and sacred sites of O’odham who are United States citizens whose spiritual well-being would be devastated by the proposed South Mountain Loop 202 Extension that would desecrate an O’odham sacred area;
Be it finally resolved, that the United States Government, both Federal and State, mandate improvement of its communication with the O’odham representation in the State of Arizona, United States and improve its protection of O’odham people, culture and sacred sites.
For more background information about this issue please visit:
Call to Save Muadag’ Do’ag (South Mountain) and the villages of District 6 (Gila River)-Spiritual Gathering and Run
Greetings from District Six of the Gila River Indian Community,
The villages of Lone Butte,Santa Cruz, Gila Crossing, Komatke and Co-op are requesting YOUR support in our 20 year struggle to stop the proposed eight-lane South Mountain Loop 202 freeway extension from going through District Six and the Gila River Indian Community.
We have come to a critical point in this fight and it will take all of the Gila River Indian Community to stop this freeway from ever being built on our land OR thru the South Mountain.
At this time, we are calling for a traditional gathering in the village of Komatke, starting the night of Friday September 30 and a traditional run the morning of Saturday October 1.
We request your support from all traditional O’odham singers, dancers, and runners from all of the Seven Districts of the Gila River Indian Community (GRIC). We are also asking for our relatives from Onk O’odahm/ Salt River, Ak-Chin, Tohono, Hia’ched, and all O’odham in Mexico to join us as we sing, dance, pray and run for Muadag’ Do’ag, which is sacred to ALL O’odham, as well as for our District Six and Gila River Indian Community members who will be negatively impacted by this freeway.
We will be gathering at the District Six Komatke Boys and Girls Club starting at 6:00 P.M. For a traditional circle of dance ending at sun rise. From here we will begin starting at sun rise the District Six Survival Run ending at the Gila River Governance Center Tribal Council Chambers in Sacaton to attend and support The District Six and Gila River Indian Community at a special tribal council meeting to be held Saturday, October 1, 2011 which will hear and decide on a Gila River Indian Community Tribal Council Referendum entitled:
“A Resolution Approving and Authorizing a Referendum of the Construction of the South Mountain 202 Extension Freeway through the Gila River Indian Reservation”.
If approved by council, this referendum will undo two past NO BUILD community resolutions and will mandate a community vote that will ONLY present GRIC members with two options: an on-reservation alignment and an off-reservation alignment. Both of these options will lead to either the blasting and desecration of South Mountain or the forced removal and relocation of District Six community member families from their homes. This proposed referendum has no mention of the NO BUILD option which is clearly listed by Arizona Department of Transportation as an viable option.
Why? How did we go from past No Build resolutions, and two decades (20 years) of saying NO FREEWAY, to now being forced to choose which construction alignment we would rather support ? NO MEANS NO! WE SUPPORT NO BUILD AT ALL! Which part of no is not being understood the N or the O ?
Therefore the villages of Lone Butte, Santa Cruz, Gila Crossing, Komatke and Co-op are calling for all Gila River Indian Community members and O’odham from all over our ancestral lands, to join us as we sing, dance, pray, and run to tell our tribal council members NO MEANS NO!
SAVE OUR DO’AG! SAVE OUR COMMUNITY! SAVE OUR FUTURE!