Opinion: Save the sacred San Francisco Peaks from destruction
"Is the ghost of former President Andrew Jackson haunting the streets of Flagstaff, Arizona and the Whitehouse in Washington, D. C.?

Arizona already has become infamous for its state legalization of racial profiling, commissioning police to act as posses to enforce anti-Mexican prejudices. Now Arizona's Flagstaff, the gateway to the Grand Canyon, will extend the dominant culture's supremacism by complicity in the conversion of First Nations' sacred lands to a playground for the rich and powerful of Phoenix.

The Obama administration wisely has challenged the noxious Arizona law that allows the police to question the immigration status of individuals during everyday police encounters. But President Obama's Agriculture Secretary, Tom Vilsack, has missed an opportunity to repudiate Arizona's intolerance of First Nation's religious freedoms.

Arizona's San Francisco Peaks soar high above the Colorado Plateau, providing a volcano-born refuge for plants, critters, and humans in a desert environment beset with the vicissitudes of global warming and climate change.

The San Francisco Peaks are sacred to at least 13 Native American Nations including Dine' (Navajo), Hopi, Zuni, Havasupai, Hualapai, Apache, Tohono O'Odoham and San Juan Southern Paiute. According to Yavapai-Apache Chairman Vincent Randall, the peaks are one of the "sacred places where the earth brushes up against the unseen world." To the Navajo, the Peaks are the "Holy house of our sacred deities whom we pray to and give our offerings." The massif's name speaks of the poetry of other languages: Doko'oo'sliid (Dine') - "Shining On Top" and Nuvatukaovi (Hopi) "The Place of Snow on the Very Top." "

Get the Story:
Paul Torrence: Save The Peaks (OpEd News 7/11)

Also Today:
Hopi council again rejects snowmaking (The Arizona Daily Sun 7/10)

9th Circuit Decision:
Navajo Nation v. US Forest Service (August 8, 2008)

Related Stories:
Expansion of ski resort at sacred San Francisco Peaks delayed (7/9)
USDA backs snowmaking plan for sacred San Francisco Peaks (7/6)
USDA expected to back snowmaking at San Francisco Peaks (5/21)
Ski resort accuses tribes of hypocrisy in sacred site flap (3/19)
Obama administration eyes compromise on sacred site (3/9)
McCain backs ski resort over tribes on sacred site (11/24)
Navajo Nation Council delays ski resort measure (10/23)
New case filed over sacred San Francisco Peaks (09/21)
Editorial: Money wins over sacred site in Arizona (06/22)
Cartoon: Real tears, fake snow at sacred site (6/19)
Editorial: Fake snow alright at sacred peaks (6/16)
Blog: No end to fight over San Francisco Peaks (6/15)
Tribes weigh next step in sacred site battle (6/9)
Supreme Court declines to hear sacred site case (6/8)
Supreme Court to consider sacred site case (6/1)
USDA official can't comment on sacred site case (4/29)
Navajo Nation seeks to resolve sacred site case (4/28)
Obama response awaited in sacred site case (3/23)
Tribes ask Supreme Court to hear sacred site case (1/6)
Tribes weigh next move in sacred site case (10/23)
Indian religious rights cases on high court's horizon (10/21)
9th Circuit delays ruling in sacred site case (10/06)
Interview: Attorney in San Francisco Peaks case (8/22)
Appeals court reverses course on sacred site (8/12)
9th Circuit issues rulings on sacred site, compacts (8/8)