What does 1.8 have to do with faith freedom for all?


Take the #OakFlatChallenge and find out

How big is 1.8 miles? What comes to mind when you think of that much space? How can you describe it?

It’s the length of the Golden Gate Bridge, an iconic element of America’s infrastructure
It’s the size of the open public space of the National Mall in Washington, D.C.
It’s the length of approximately 32 football fields
It could be the foundation of the largest-ever game of Red Rover, with 1,901 adults in a line holding hands!

To the San Carlos Apache and other Southwest tribes, 1.8 miles is the size of their sacred Chí’chil Biłdagoteel, loosely translated as “Oak Flat” in English, and it’s what they could lose if Congress fails to act. The federal government is poised to transfer Oak Flat to a foreign mining company to mine the low-grade copper deposit underneath. This new mine would result in a crater roughly 1.8 miles in diameter and up to 1,100 feet deep, destroying this ancient sacred site. The sacredness of Chí’chil Biłdagoteel is not lessened because no steeple marks it.

Most of us have a hard time imagining just how massive this devastating hole in the ground will be. That’s why BJC created the #OakFlatChallenge: Let the world know how much sacred land might be sacrificed for mining!

The challenge simply asks you to reflect and share what would be lost if a crater with a 1.8-mile diameter formed in your neighborhood.

Together we can #SaveOakFlat and raise awareness with our community. Join us in taking the #OakFlatChallenge.

What is the #OakFlatChallenge?

It’s simple: travel 1.8 miles, and show others how much would be destroyed if your 1.8 miles fell into a mining crater. The method is up to you: run, prayer walk, roll, drive, ride, bike, hike, or even grab a virtual reality headset!

Take note: What do you pass? What would be lost? What’s irreplaceable? Just as we are connected to our 1.8 miles, our Indigenous neighbors are connected to Chí’chil Biłdagoteel.

Post pictures of what would be destroyed in your neighborhood, show us your path, and challenge a friend to take the #OakFlatChallenge. Share your journey with us on social media by tagging @BJContheHill and using the hashtags #OakFlatChallenge, #SaveOakFlat and #BJCAdvocacy.

Take the #OakFlatChallenge

This article is from the Rev. Jennifer Hawks, associate general counsel of BJC. Read more about why groups are working to Save Oak Flat at this link and check out other ways you can get involved.