A Recent Futuristic Story About Native Americans on Mars is Coming True in Arizona
by Ed Murray
In this case, it’s Life imitating Art. A recent science fiction graphic novel called Red Eden a Vision of Mars, has become eerily real in the Arizona Oak Flat fight pitting a huge multi-national mining company against a small band of Apache Indians fighting to save their paradise from destruction. First, a look at the graphic novel.
Red Eden was a story idea that Greg Simay had kicking around in his head for years. He envisioned some Native Americans leaving the hellish Earth and going to Mars and terraforming the planet to create a paradise like the one they had previously enjoyed before the arrival and invasion of the Europeans in 18th century America. About 5 or 6 years ago, Simay wrote a screenplay on this idea, but it somehow missed the mark, and went nowhere. He then got together with Hollywood documentary film maker and writer R.J. Johnson to help him move his project along. Johnson, at first thought that maybe a novel would be a good starting point, so a writer was hired. This didn’t work out, but then it was suggested that maybe a graphic novel would be a better vehicle to tell Simay’s story. So a team of writers, including Simay, R.J. Johnson, and Mike White, with help from Russell Davis, Steve Stern, and Paul Hunt, crafted an exciting story that tells of Native Americans, using profits from casinos to leverage technology and finally settle and terraform Mars. They created their own paradise and were free of the constrictions they had suffered on Earth.
But then comes the dark cloud of war. Earth is so polluted at the time of this story, 2101, that governments have collapsed, and an evil cabal of criminals have taken over, but things are so bad they have to leave the mess of Earth. They set their sights on Mars, an unspoiled paradise, and the thugs from Earth invade Mars and once again try to take away what the Native Americans have created. The Indians on Mars resist, and are led by a young woman named Takenya, coming of age and living with her grand-parents. She begins having visions, brought on by a spirit guide named Lozen, and leads her people in an epic battle to save her way of life, aided by a strange remnant of ancient peoples…..well, I don’t want to give away any more of the story. It is an e-book only at this point, available from amazon for download. The full color book is 120 pages, and revolves around the idea that history is once again repeating itself, to steal from the Indians what they have built.
In an astounding coincidence, a very similar drama is now being played out in the deserts of Arizona. A multi-national British mining company, Rio Tinto, operating through a subsidiary called Resolution Mining, has been trying for years to get a hold of what is the largest deposit of copper left on earth. The extended value of these deposits have been estimated to be 140 billion dollars. There was a big problem for them: the deposits sit underneath an area of National Park called Oak Flat, and in the 1950s President Eisenhower gave it special protection to preserve this starkly beautiful area with its massive boulders. Mining under or on the area was forbidden forever.
Rio Tinto, is a massive foreign mining company, and has been salivating for years over this area. They have spent lavishly, because the payout is huge. They had lobbyists, one was a guy named Jeff Flake, who worked for a Rio Tinto subsidiary in Africa, mining uranium. They tried to get a “land swap” bill passed for years, trading some land they had bought in Arizona for the copper rich earth under Oak Flat. It didn’t work, and at one point an Arizona representative went to jail for some related shenanigans. But the British don’t give up easily when it comes to pillaging native lands, a pastime they have engaged in for several hundred years. Lobbyist Jeff Flake is now Arizona Senator Jeff Flake. Hmmm…..my golly, how in the world could that happen? Teaming up with Sen. John McCain, in the spring of this year they attached the “land swap” bill as a rider to the National Defense Authorization Act, which had to be passed by Congress due to the Obama Administration’s concerns about National Security issues. So McCain and Flake got it done, in what is probably the most underhanded, sneaky, despicable operations in Arizona history, giving away 140 billion dollars of American natural resources to a foreign corporation. No vote on that issue, just a “rider” on another bill. It is an outrage to all America, and especially to the San Carlos Apaches, who count the area as their ancient land.
The fight at present is being carried on by a group of Apache Indians who have called themselves the Apache Stronghold. They have marched across the country, they have been to Washington, D.C., they are trying to get this rotten “land swap” deal overturned. One of the leaders of this group is a young, well spoken teen-aged Apache woman named Naelyn Pike. She travels often with her grandfather, Wendsler Nosie to save the Oak Flat area. This is a stunning coincidence to the Red Eden story, where the young Indian woman Takenya, living with her grandparents, leads the struggle against the thugs from Earth.
Another coincidence is that Takenya, in the story, is guided by Lozen, who was a real Apache woman in the early days of the so-called “Indian Wars”. Lozen was a guide who could foresee certain events and protect her people. The real life counterpoint to Takenya, the young Apache woman, Naelyn Pike, counts her main heroine to be Lozen, the same historical Apache guide. The Red Eden story also has a traitor, you will have to read the book to find out who it is. The real life Oak Flat story also has a “traitor”, Rep. Anne Kirkpatrick, who dressed in “Indian style” clothing when she was running for election, making promises to the Apaches. Now that she is in Congress, things have changed. How much in campaign contributions does she get from the Rio Tinto boys? McCain gets some, a lot in fact, and so does Sen Flake, the former lobbyist for the Corporation.
So the fight goes on, the foreigners, in this case from Briton and Australia, taking our gorgeous land with the connivance of snarky politicians, through a pathetic land swap that will net them billions. Why do they even bother to swap worthless land, why not just give McCain, Flake, and the rest of the Congress some colorful glass beads like their ancestors did? Rio Tinto insults not only the Apaches, but our entire nation. The American voters should be outraged at this, but as for now, the only opposition is a small group of Apache Indians, led by a teen-age young woman and her grandfather, trying to save a beautiful wilderness for all of our future benefit. Stay tuned folks, this real life epic is just beginning.