Native Americans fear for their culture as Trump wall looms

A Native American nation, Tohono O’odham, is located at the U.S.-Mexican border in Arizona and they fear that President Trump border wall would not only sever their land, but also slice through their community and culture. Colette Luke reports.

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(SOUNDBITE) VERLON JOSE, VICE CHAIRMAN OF TOHONO O’ODHAM NATION, SAYING:
“We have communities, a few miles south of here..”
Verlon Jose is the vice chairman of the Native American nation – Tohono O’odham… a community squarely in the path of President Trump’s border wall…
He says his people are worried.
(SOUNDBITE) (English) VERLON JOSE, VICE CHAIRMAN OF TOHONO O’ODHAM NATION, SAYING:
“we have a cemetery about a mile and a half from here where family members are buried, relatives are buried. There’s actually a grave marker in Mexico with the United States military headstone.”
The Tohono O’odham reservation straddles the US-Mexican border.
There are about 10,000 people living on the U.S. side, where there are schools and other services… and another 2,000 living in Mexico.
Along the border fence, there are gates that allow individuals from both sides to travel back and forth as needed.
(SOUNDBITE) (English) VERLON JOSE, VICE CHAIRMAN OF TOHONO O’ODHAM NATION, SAYING:
“And so the impact of a wall would not allow us to do those things on a regular basis. Let me ask you, how would you feel if you were forbidden to go see your relatives whether alive or dead?”
President Trump says his 2,200-mile border wall would stop drugs and criminals coming from Mexico… but 62 miles of that would run through Tohono O’odham land…
Verlon Jose’s cousin Franice…

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