Apache

It’s tough to miss a century plant in full bloom. The plant’s base of wide, pointed leaves sends up an enormously tall stalk that blooms brilliantly in spring. Also called agave or mescal, it’s a plant that’s common throughout the desert Southwest.

Ryan Heinsius

Plans are in the works to develop the largest copper mine in North America on Arizona’s Tonto National Forest. The proposed site for the nearly 3,000-acre mine is Oak Flat near the town of Superior. It’s an ancestral home for several clans of the San Carlos Apache Tribe, some of whom are protesting the development. They believe the Oak Flat mine is another example of the conflict between the protection of sacred sites and economic development.

Ryan Heinsius

A protest east of Phoenix is in its fourth week as a group of Native Americans has gathered in opposition to a proposed copper mine. As Arizona Public Radio’s Ryan Heinsius reports, the area of the Tonto National Forest is a burial ground and considered sacred by several tribes throughout the state.

Despite a tribal judge’s order to suspend the election, voting went forward Wednesday.

The reservation south of Show Low is embroiled in a political power play between long time chairman Ronnie Lupe and the Council.

The Council suspended 82-year-old Lupe in December. 

His critics claim he is trying to block opposition candidates from running in the Tribal Council election.

In January, Judge Reagan Armstrong ordered the tribe’s election office to reinstate the names of three candidates who were left off the ballot.