Native American activists are planning protests at Mount Rushmore during President Donald Trump‘s scheduled visit on July 3, 2020.
“Mount Rushmore is a symbol of white supremacy, of structural racism that’s still alive and well in society today,” Nick Tilsen of the Ogalala Lakota Tribe said,
“It’s an injustice to actively steal Indigenous people’s land then carve the white faces of the conquerors who committed genocide,” Tilsen added.
The national landmark has long been a point of contention between indigenous people and Congress. The landmark is carved into South Dakota’s Black Hills on land that is native to the Lakota Sioux. During the later parts of the 19th century, American troops claimed the land as theirs while also taking gold from the area as well.
A little over a century after the land was claimed by American troops, the Supreme Court ruled that the act was unconstitutional. As a a result, the federal government was set to give the Sioux Nation $102 million. However, the Sioux denied the payment. Today, the $102 million payment from 1980 is valued at over $1 billion. Still, the Sioux reject the payment for a variety of reasons.