Free of the Earth: On the Tohono O’odham Nation’s Fight to Protect the Saguaro
This Week from the Emergence Magazine Podcast
Emergence Magazine is an online publication with annual print edition exploring the threads connecting ecology, culture, and spirituality. As we experience the desecration of our lands and waters, the extinguishing of species, and a loss of sacred connection to the Earth, we look to emerging stories. Our podcast features exclusive interviews, narrated essays, stories and more.
In this narrated essay, Boyce Upholt travels to the US-Mexico border, where the O’odham peoples have long revered the saguaro cactus as a being with personhood—a belief that is congruous with the recent rights-of-nature movement. As legal protections for the cactus come up against the push to build a wall through Organ Pipe Cactus National Park, Boyce meets with elders from the Tohono O’odham Nation who are acting on behalf of the rooted beings of the desert.