Apache religious site desecrated

Updated: Mar. 19, 2018 at 2:53 PM MST
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OAK FLAT CAMPGROUND (TUCSON NEWS NOW) - A sacred Apache site in Oak Flat, an hour east of Phoenix, appears to have been intentionally desecrated.

Upon arriving at the religious site, a representative of the Apache Stronghold found that two crosses were missing and ripped from the ground, while the other two had been destroyed with what appears to be an axe, according to a press release.

Authorities say evidence of large tires could be seen in the surrounding dirt and ceremonial eagle feathers were left lying on the ground.

"This site is like a church," said Wendsler Nosie, an Apache Stronghold leader. "A lot of people have come here to be healed from sickness and for their loved ones, asked for blessings. We have never seen this kind of violence against us here."

In February 2014, the Oak Flat campground was the home of protest against the proposed copper mine that would decimate the area, in which hundreds of people participated.

The vandalism is currently being investigated by the U.S. Forest Service.

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