Sacred Native American burial sites are being blown up for Trump’s border wall
Construction crews began blasting sites within Arizona’s Organ Pipe Cactus National Monument as part of the construction of President Trump’s border barrier, and the affected areas include sites sacred to Native American groups, according to a congressman from Arizona and advocates.
The Organ Pipe Cactus National Monument is an internationally recognized biosphere reserve — meaning it has plants and animals so rare that the United Nations has given it a special designation. It includes about 330,000 acres of designated wilderness and is home to ancestral grounds sacred to the Tohono O’odham Nation, one of at least a dozen Native American groups that claim connections to grounds within the monument.
Rep. Raúl M. Grijalva (D-Ariz.), whose district includes the reservation, said crews this week began blasting through parts of Monument Hill, which includes a burial site for the Tohono O’odham Nation.
“The construction contractor has begun controlled blasting, in preparation for new border wall system construction within the Roosevelt Reservation at Monument Mountain," A U.S. Customs and Border Protection spokesperson said in a statement sent to The Post. “The controlled blasting is targeted and will continue intermittently for the rest of the month.”
Grijalva, chairman of the House Natural Resources Committee, visited the location ahead of the construction and described the site in a video posted to social media. Monument Hill, where he said explosions are now occurring, is a site where members of the Tohono O’odham Nation have buried members of opposing tribes.
“Where they were blasting the other day on Monument Hill is the resting place for primarily Apache warriors that had been involved in battle with the O’odham. And then the O’odham people in a respectful way laid them to rest on Monument Hill,” Grijalva said in a video posted on Sunday.