American Indian Protesters Told To “Go Home” By Trump Supporters At Mt. Rushmore

Screengrab / NBC News / YouTube

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The protestors, mostly members of South Dakota tribes, assert the Black Hills rightfully belong to the Sioux Nation.

Native News Online reports that supporters of President Donald J. Trump told American Indian demonstrators near the Mount Rushmore entrance to “go home.”

  • Native News called this a “twist of irony,” noting that “The protesters were actually on their homeland as protected by the Treaty of Fort Laramie.”
  • Mount Rushmore is built in Black Hills, part of territory granted to the Sioux in “perpetuity” in the Treaty of Fort Laramie, PBS explains. After the discovery of gold, however, the federal government and American military pushed the Sioux out of the Black Hills.
  • In 1980, the Supreme Court ruled that the United States failed to provide just compensation to the Sioux Nation for seizure of the Black Hills under eminent domain and ordered Congress to pay an appropriate amount.
  • However, the Sioux refused to accept payment on the grounds that doing so would be an acceptance of the seizure, the Los Angeles Times explains. Instead, Sioux have attempted to legislatively restore the lands to native possession, though such efforts have not succeeded.
  • In the light, about 300 protestors, mostly from South Dakota tribes, gathered to demonstrate against Trump’s arrival at Mount Rushmore, asserting that he was not welcome in their homeland.
  • Law enforcement dispersed the crowd using pepper spray. At least fifteen individuals were arrested.
  • Trump arrived via Air Force One, flying in to Mount Rushmore past the demonstration.

Laura Ten Fingers of the Oglala Sioux Tribe was one of the demonstration’s organizers, and she told Native News about how some Trump supporters reacted to their protest. She said,

People were telling us to “go home” and that’s where we were, on our sacred home lands. It shows how the american education system white-washes history and ignores the amount of injustice, genocide, and inequality that this country was built on.

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