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Apache elders urge Sen. Mark Kelly to help stop Oak Flat mine project

Oak Flat Protest
AP Photo/Matt York
People gather outside the office of U.S. Sen. Mark Kelly, D-Ariz., Thursday, Dec. 2, 2021, in Phoenix. The students and San Carlos Apache tribal elders gathered to urge Kelly to back legislation that will keep lands they consider scared from being torn up by a copper mine.

A group of elders from the San Carlos Apache Nation have gathered to urge Arizona Sen. Mark Kelly to back legislation that will keep lands they call sacred from being torn up for a massive copper mine.

Several school students showed up Thursday to support the half-dozen elders outside Kelly’s Phoenix office.

Tribal members are awaiting a decision from the 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals on their efforts to stop the mine.

Companion bills in the House and Senate aim to overturn a land exchange of the land known as Oak Flat that would let the project proceed.