Tohono O’odham Nation Reiterates Their Stance on Border Wall

Posted By Toyacoyah Brown January 29th, 2017 Last Updated on: January 29th, 2017


On Wednesday, January 25, 2017, Donald Trump continued with executive order and memorandum signings, this time for “Border Security and Immigration Enforcement Improvements“. We all remember the familiar chant from his supporters right? “Build the Wall”. As you can imagine there was much discussion amongst everyone in America from the seemingly impossible logistics, cost, you name it. Another issue that might prevent a wall from being built, one that most aren't too familiar with, is the fact that the Tohono O'odham Nation's lands actually straddle both sides of the U.S. Mexico border.

Back in November several news outlets reported on the Tohono O'odham Nation's stance on building a wall along the U.S. Mexico border. Vice Chairman Verlon Jose told Phoenix radio station KJZZ that Trump's wall would be built “over my dead body.”

After President Trump signed the executive order this Wednesday, the Tohono O'odham Nation released a statement in response:

The Tohono O’odham Nation have inhabited the lands of what is now central and southern
Arizona and northern Sonora, Mexico. The current international border was drawn through the middle of
the Nation’s traditional lands. Today, the Nation’s reservation includes 75 miles of the US‐Mexico border,
with tribal members residing on both sides of the border.

As a result, the Nation has been on the front line of border issues for over 160 years and takes these issues
very seriously. While the Nation does not support a large scale fortified wall, it has worked closely for
decades with U.S. Customs and Border Patrol and other agencies to secure the U.S. homeland.

The executive order signed yesterday was done without consultation with the Nation or many other
border communities. As a first responder on the border, the Nation invites the new President to visit so
that in depth discussions can be held on the impacts of such actions. In the interim, the Nation will
continue to do its part to ensure the security of the U.S. border.


So what do you guys think about the wall? Will it actually happen? Will the Tohono O’odham Nation continue to keep their lands as is? Will President Trump even make an effort to visit with the Tohono O’odham Nation?

Home » Blog » Tohono O'odham Nation Reiterates Their Stance on Border Wall

About Toyacoyah Brown

Toyacoyah Brown is an enrolled member of the Comanche Nation, currently living in Chicago. She received her B.A. in Journalism from the University of Oklahoma and an M.A. in Media Studies from the University of Texas at Austin. When she's not scouring the Internet for fun things to share with PowWows.com readers you can find her digging for vinyl in her local record store or curling up with a good book.

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Well the United states can leave that wide open and all tbe drug trafficking and human trafficking can can go through thier reservation! Have fun!

Kathleen King

I am not, sadly, a Native American, and I apologize to the First Nations for being a descendant of the first illegal aliens. I cannot do anything to correct that since I am a “mongrel” with no nation to go home to, except this one. With all my heart I support belated justice for all First Nation people and their descendants. I especially believe that the Tohono O’odom deserve all our support in avoiding have a wall driven across their remaining lands and a gross violation of their sovereignty! If it becomes necessary and the tribe permits, I will stand with the tribe and the people to fight this invasion. I could not go the camp to oppose the pipeline which was far less of an insult and invasion than this proposed genocidal act, but I will come to this and stay as long as it takes. This is not about immigrants, nor is it to fight drugs; this is one more political act which has the consequence of further harming the indigenous people of America. NO!

len Bennett

I’m always been with Native Americans on everything except this issue I have a grandfather on one side grandmother on the other I volunteered for a year-and-a-half and worked for a year-and-a-half on the

len Bennett

I’m always been with Native Americans on everything except this issue I have a grandfather on one side grandmother on the other thats full blooded native,I volunteered for a year-and-a-half and worked for a year-and-a-half on the Tohono 0’odam nation reservation. and I have seen the issues that are brought forth from the Mexico side.one druges, the drugs are in almost every single Native American household. I was volunteering and I worked with the Native American children and the youngest that I have seen carrying lots of money was 8 years old this child was one of many of the children I worked with and where did he get it he tells me from the drugs at the Mexican-American line all the children I worked with sold and bought drugs or shot each other lots of gang activity and this is not but just the tip of the iceberg I love theTohono people, they the children are some of the most creative that you could almost say StreetWise children I’ve ever seen they are strong and inventive but aren’t going anywhere because of the drugs and the gang activity that’s so overtaking the reservation, someone needs to do something before they’re all destroyed this was years ago and I know it’s worse now then when I was there because I work in a psych unit and I see some of my children that are now adults still selling and on drugs.

Nancy Stark

I hate to say it, but we do need some way to monitor who is coming into America. What’s wrong with Mexico? Why don’t they go there? Maybe it’s the same problem with gangs intimidating young people into joining the gangs, so I sympathize. Another problem is wildlife. These walls block animals from their feeding and breeding grounds.
There are floods in some regions and the animals have nowhere to go and end up being drowned because the wall has no outlet for floodwater. There must be some way to let small animals through without compromising security.


I have mixed feelings….only because something has got to stop the drugs from coming across the border, it has reached epidemic proportions for all people.

Buck Buchholz

The Tonoho O’odham lands are a sovern nation and as such should never be breeched by another. Relatives should not be separated from relatives.

Harley Christensen

Many, many nonIndians like me are in full support of you and your rights. #Resistance

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