Legislative: Hearing on Save Oak Flat Act

Subcommittee for Indigenous Peoples of the United States Date: Tuesday, April 13, 2021 Time: 01:00 PM Presiding: The Honorable Teresa Leger Fernández, Chair

On Tuesday, April 13, 2021 at 1:00 p.m. (EDT), the Subcommittee for Indigenous Peoples of the United States (SCIP) will host a virtual, fully remote legislative hearing on the following tribal-related legislation:

  • H.R. 1884 (Rep. Raúl Grijalva), To repeal section 3003 of the Carl Levin and Howard P. "Buck" McKeon National Defense Authorization Act for Fiscal Year 2015, and for other purposes. 

Oak Flat, or Chi’chil Bildagoteel, is of significant cultural importance and considered sacred by many tribal communities in Arizona, including the San Carlos Apache Tribe, which has resisted a years-long effort by Resolution Copper – owned by international mining conglomerates BHP and Rio Tinto – to mine the region. 

The issue was recently featured on The Today Show and has received intensive news coverage in recent weeks. On March 1, the Biden administration withdrew an environmental impact statement, published in the waning hours of the Trump administration, that would have finalized a land swap between Tonto National Forest and Resolution Copper, after which the mine would have moved forward.

The San Carlos Apache and many other tribes across the country strongly support Grijalva’s bill.

Witnesses include:

  • The Honorable Shan Lewis, President, Inter Tribal Council of Arizona
  • The Honorable Fawn Sharp, President, National Congress of American Indians
  • Dr. James Wells, PhD, Chief Operating Officer, L. Everett & Associates
  • Minority witness to be announced

Watch Livehttps://bit.ly/31X4pdr (Facebook) or https://youtu.be/07lQnARcxZU (YouTube) 

Witness List

The Honorable Shan Lewis (testimony)


Inter Tribal Association of Arizona Phoenix, AZ

Dr. James Wells, PhD (testimony)

Chief Operating Officer L. Everett & Associates Santa Barbara, CA

The Honorable Fawn Sharp (testimony)


National Congress of American Indians Washington, D.C.

The Honorable Mila Besich (testimony)


Town of Superior Superior, AZ