Monday, November 3, 2008

Walkers Remember Migrants on Tohono O'odham Land

By Brenda Norrell

SAN XAVIER DISTRICT, TOHONO O'ODHAM NATION -- Walkers arrived at San Xavier District on the Tohono O'odham Nation on Saturday to remember the 183 migrants who died this past year in the Sonoran desert. Of those migrants, 108 were not identified. Nineteen could not be identified as male or female because so little of their remains were found. A large portion of those deaths were on Tohono O'odham land.

Walkers called out "Presente!" during the reading of the names at San Xavier, remembering those who died walking to a better life. The walk, organized by Derechos Humanos, was an 8-mile walk from Tucson, during temperatures that reached the mid 90s.

Although the elected leaders on the main section of the Tohono O'odham Nation, located to the west of here, have not welcomed humanitarian aid for migrants, the San Xavier District cohosted the Indigenous Peoples Border Summit of the Americas in 2006 and 2007. The border summits were cohosted by the International Indian Treaty Council and organized by Tohono O'odham Mike Flores.

Photos: Walkers arrive at San Xavier. Crosses carry the names of the migrants who died this past year. Photos Brenda Norrell. Please e-mail for reprint permission:

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