Two tribal leaders in South Dakota have called for the carvings on Mount Rushmore to removed. They’re highlighting the issue ahead of Donald Trump’s visit to the site on 3 July.
The President will attend an Independence Day celebration at Mount Rushmore with South Dakota Governor Kristi Noem. Local tribal leaders have seized the opportunity to bring up the violation of their sacred land.
“Nothing stands as a greater reminder to the Great Sioux Nation of a country that cannot keep a promise or treaty than the faces carved into our sacred land on what the United States calls Mount Rushmore,” said Harold Frazier, Chairman of the Cheyenne River Sioux Tribe.
Frazier specifically criticized Trump’s 3 July event, which will feature fireworks over Mount Rushmore. Trump has long expressed a fondness for the monument.
“We are now being forced to witness the lashing of our land with pomp, arrogance and fire hoping our sacred lands survive,” Frazier said.
“This brand on our flesh needs to be removed and I am willing to do it free of charge to the United States, by myself if I must,” he said.
Frazier is the second tribal leader in South Dakota to call for the removal of the carvings. Julian Bear Runner, President of the Olgala Sioux, expressed similar sentiments.
He called it “a great sign of disrespect.”
Darragh Roche is a journalist covering U.S. politics and media