The Apache activist
"The university, I'd
say, is like a tin man. No heart.
have no feeling."
* Ola Cassadore
Ola Cassadore Davis grew up on the San
Carlos Apache Reservation, about 30 miles from Mount Graham. Her
father was a medicine man who often took her to pray and sing on
the mountain when she was a child. Seventy-two years old, her seven
children raised, in retirement from her job as a nurse's aide,
she's been halfway around the world in her role as head of the
Apache Survival Coalition, an activist group she founded in
"One night I had a dream
that my father came, and he was wondering if I really was going to
work on Mount Graham ... I went to visit my aunt. She was 107. She
said, "We used to live at the foot of the mountain. As long as I
can remember, that mountain was sacred." She said, "Geronimo would
come to our house and eat and talk about Mount Graham." She said he
was a very, very gentle person. She said, "If you are as strong as
he is, maybe you can do it."
"So I said, "Okay,
I'll do it."
"There are nine of us in the
coalition. I work under the spiritual leaders, the medicine men. I
get their advice. They guide me with their prayers ... (Also) the
old ladies are very mad. They say, "We don't want the telescope! It
will cause a cancer with us!'
I'd say, is like a tin man. No heart. They don't have no feeling.
They want a recognition for that large telescope. They want to be
known all over the world.
"I went to Italy in
March to lobby. I made a parliament speech in front of 400 people.
A lot of people cried ...
"We're silently praying
for our home." -