Donald Trump should not carry out his planned 3 July visit to Mount Rushmore in South Dakota because it represents a safety risk in the middle of the coronavirus pandemic and is an insult to Native Americans on whose stolen land it was built, the president of the Oglala Sioux tribal council has said.
Several Native American groups are planning protests for Trump’s controversial trip to the 79-year-old stone monument carved into the Black Hills that is set to include the first fireworks display at the site since 2009 and an air force flypast.
“Trump coming here is a safety concern not just for my people inside and outside the reservation, but for people in the Great Plains. We have such limited resources in Black Hills, and we’re already seeing infections rising,” the Oglala Sioux president, Julian Bear Runner, in an interview with the Guardian.
“The lands on which that mountain is carved and the lands he’s about to visit belong to the Great Sioux nation under a treaty signed in 1851 and the Fort Laramie Treaty of 1868 and I have to tell him he doesn’t have permission from its original sovereign owners to enter the territory at this time,” Bear Runner said.
The 1868 treaty acknowledged Sioux sovereignty over the Black Hills in perpetuity but after gold was discovered in the area the federal government forced the Sioux to relinquish this part of their reservation. In 1980, the US supreme court ruled that tribal lands covered by the treaty had been taken from the Sioux illegally.
Source: The Guardian