Apache

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.

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