“Ours is the Land” is a short film produced by the Tohono O'odham Nation that depicts in powerful detail the spiritual, cultural and physical connection of the Tohono O’odham people of Arizona to Ce:wi Duag or the Santa Rita Mountains which is imperiled by the proposed creation of the mile-wide, half mile deep Rosemont open pit copper mine. Desecrating this revered area with a mine would fundamentally alter the cultural landscape of the Tohono O’odham nation.
The film is told entirely from the perspective of the Tohono Nation members themselves including Legislative Council members, and tribal elders who speak about the multi-generational connection between Ce:wi Duag and the Nation today. Waste from the mine would bury two centuries old ancient Hohokam villages including sacred burial sites. Remains of a rare ball court, a place of gathering for sport and religious events dur- ing the Hohokam (1150-1450) period, would be fenced off and effectively made obsolete.
The proposed mine area would include over 6,000 acres of tribal resource collection areas that provide plants for medicinal and basket weaving purposes. Also featured in the film is the spiritual connection of the Nation to the animals of the Ce:wi Duag including the existence in the Ce:wi Duag of the only known jaguar to roam the United States. Tribal lands will be dramatically impacted by the mine’s use of water. It is estimated that tribal aquifers will be drawn down over ten feet, a huge amount in parched southern Arizona. Adding poignancy to the film is the score of Michael Enis, Tohono O’odham, tribal member and song dreamer.