Naelyn Pike, is defiant.
“We’re Apaches. We’re warriors. The Spaniards and the United States government fought us here. They think they won but they didn’t. The war never ended.”

Resolution Copper, a subsidiary of international mining giants Rio Tinto and BHP Billiton, plan to build a copper mine at Apache holy site Chi’chil Bildagoteel. In a decades-long fight to save Oak Flat, Wendsler Nosie Sr. and now his daughters and granddaughters persevere. In November 2019 while many Arizonans were celebrating Thanksgiving, Nosie Sr., his granddaughter Báásé Pike, 15, and grandson Taylor Thorne, 15, ran in the sleet and cold from Old San Carlos to Oak Flat. Nosie Sr. says he is home.
Taylor Thorne, 15, prays over Wendsler Nosie, Sr. and Báásé Pike, 15, after they finish a day of running home to Chich’il Bildagoteel (Oak Flat) on Nov. 29, 2019 in Miami, Ariz.
Taylor Thorne, 15, prays over Wendsler Nosie, Sr. and Báásé Pike, 15, after they finish a day of running home to Chich’il Bildagoteel (Oak Flat) on Nov. 29, 2019 in Miami, Ariz.
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Wendsler Nosie, Sr., 60, speaks with supporters at their camp before setting off on the second day of his prayer run protest on Nov. 29, 2019 on the San Carlos Apache reservation.
Wendsler Nosie, Sr., 60, speaks with supporters at their camp before setting off on the second day of his prayer run protest on Nov. 29, 2019 on the San Carlos Apache reservation.
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First Baptist Church seen in a reflection in front of the Freeport-McMoRan open-pit copper and gold facilities on Nov. 29, 2019 in Claypool, Ariz. The proposed mine by Resolution Copper at Chich’il Bildagoteel (Oak Flat) would be a block-cave copper mine,
First Baptist Church seen in a reflection in front of the Freeport-McMoRan open-pit copper and gold facilities on Nov. 29, 2019 in Claypool, Ariz. The proposed mine by Resolution Copper at Chich’il Bildagoteel (Oak Flat) would be a block-cave copper mine, which entails digging under the ore and setting off explosions to extract the minerals. After about 41 years of block mining, the subsidence crater will be a 800-1000 ft. deep pit two miles across and projected to produce 1.5 billion tons of copper tailings waste. That pile could be up to pile 500 feet tall and 6 square miles. No existing mine pits could contain it.
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Lian BigHorse, one of Wendsdler’s daughters, during a break with family and supporters along the route on Nov. 29, 2019 near Glober, Ariz. BigHorse wears earrings with the Protect Oak Flat symbolism.
Lian BigHorse, one of Wendsdler’s daughters, during a break with family and supporters along the route on Nov. 29, 2019 near Glober, Ariz. BigHorse wears earrings with the Protect Oak Flat symbolism.
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Taylor Thorne, 15, Báásé Pike, 15, and Wendsler Nosie, Sr. run past a nativity scene on Nov. 29, 2019 near the Old Dominion Historic Mine Park in Globe, Ariz. Apache Stronghold stresses the fact that the religious freedom  just as important as the environ
Taylor Thorne, 15, Báásé Pike, 15, and Wendsler Nosie, Sr. run past a nativity scene on Nov. 29, 2019 near the Old Dominion Historic Mine Park in Globe, Ariz. Apache Stronghold stresses the fact that the religious freedom just as important as the environmental impact of the destruction of Chich’il Bildagoteel (Oak Flat).
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Taylor Thorne, 15, Báásé Pike, 15, and Wendsler Nosie, Sr. run through Iron Canyon area on the US 60 approaching Chich’il Bildagoteel (Oak Flat) on Nov. 30, 2019.
Taylor Thorne, 15, Báásé Pike, 15, and Wendsler Nosie, Sr. run through Iron Canyon area on the US 60 approaching Chich’il Bildagoteel (Oak Flat) on Nov. 30, 2019.
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Wendsler Nosie, Sr. fist bumps with Steve Pavey after the group of family and supporters reaches Chich’il Bildagoteel (Oak Flat) on Nov. 30, 2019. The campground generally has a 14-day limit on how long people may stay, but opened a window with a Nov. 27t
Wendsler Nosie, Sr. fist bumps with Steve Pavey after the group of family and supporters reaches Chich’il Bildagoteel (Oak Flat) on Nov. 30, 2019. The campground generally has a 14-day limit on how long people may stay, but opened a window with a Nov. 27th statement to AP reporter Felicia Fonseca: “They have an area they have been occupying off and on, and they’re welcome to continue that,” Tonto National Forest spokeswoman Carrie Templin said. Chich’il Bildagoteel (Oak Flat) is a sacred place where Apache people are said to have emerged from the earth. It is a place to gather medicine and hold coming of age ceremonies among other religious purposes.
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Naelyn Pike, 20, a co-leader of Apache Stronghold stands overlooking sacred land at Chich’il Bildagoteel (Oak Flat) ancestral Apache land now administered by the U.S. Forest Service on Nov. 17, 2019. Along with her grandfather Wendsler Nosie, mother Vanes
Naelyn Pike, 20, a co-leader of Apache Stronghold stands overlooking sacred land at Chich’il Bildagoteel (Oak Flat) ancestral Apache land now administered by the U.S. Forest Service on Nov. 17, 2019. Along with her grandfather Wendsler Nosie, mother Vanessa Nosie and sisters Nizhoni and Báásé, aunts and cousins, Pike is fighting for Apache sacred sites from being developed and sold by energy corporations. The plans for the proposed Resolution Copper mine were solidified with the Tonto National Forest land-exchange, approved under a midnight rider attached by Senators McCain and Flake (a former Rio Tinto lobbyist) to the must-pass National Defense Authorization Act in 2015. They each received campaign contributions from mining conglomerates.
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