Mount Rushmore sits on land sacred to Lakota & other native tribes that was stolen from them in clear violation of treaties
Before it was used as a canvas that paid tribute to four United States presidents, Mount Rushmore was a place of prayer and piety for the Lakota, Cheyenne, and Arapaho communities in the Great Plains. Known to the Lakota as Six Grandfathers mountain, that mountain and the entirety of the Black Hills is considered sacred land.
During westward expansion in the late 1800s, the increased presence of white American settlers in the Black Hills caused discord between settlers and indigenous people. As a result, the U.S. government signed the Treaty of Fort Laramie in 1868— which gave the Lakota exclusive use of the Black Hills. But the US quickly broke this treaty in 1877 when gold was discovered in the region.
Mount Rushmore upholds and memorializes a history of white supremacy
In addition to honoring men who were involved in decades of mistreatment toward people of indigenous people— Mount Rushmore was created by Gutzon Borglum, a proud white supremacist and member of the Ku Klux Klan.
The Lakota are fighting to take back what is rightfully theirs
The movement to reclaim the Black Hills was launched on Indigenous Peoples’ Day in 2020.
This movement that demands that Mount Rushmore be closed and that all public land in the Black Hills be returned to the indigenous people.
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