Tribal Group Says Crosses Vandalized at Tonto Prayer Site

Mar 21, 2018

A group that has been protesting a proposed copper mine in Superior says four crosses at a prayer site have been taken or damaged.

The holy site at Oak Flat was damaged by axes and ceremonial feathers were left on the ground.
Credit Center for Biological Diversity

The Tonto National Forest said Tuesday it is investigating the vandalism that occurred over the weekend at the Oak Flat Campground.

The group known as Apache Stronghold has said the Resolution Copper Mine is an assault on their spiritual practice and culture. Member Wendsler Nosie Sr. says the group regularly holds ceremonies at the site.

He says two of the crosses went missing and two others were left standing but damaged. He says ceremonial eagle feathers on the crosses were left on the ground.

The Forest Service is asking for the public's help to find out who is responsible.