Red Lake Nation News - Babaamaajimowinan (Telling of news in different places)

Mount Rushmore key in move to regain land


March 29, 2021

SIOUX FALLS, S.D. — When then-President Donald Trump visited Mount Rushmore last year for a fireworks display, Lakota activist Nick Tilsen saw an opportunity to further a goal of returning to Native American tribes control of land they once held.

It would land him in jail, facing felony charges after he organized a demonstration to block a road leading to the monument, but it also made Mount Rushmore a focal point for that effort, known as the Land Back Movement.

Now Tilsen, who heads a Rapid City, South Dakota-based Indigenous advocacy organization called NDN Collective, has a plan to make dramatic changes at Mount Rushmore by turning it over to tribal control. But that plan puts him in direct conflict with top Republicans in the state like Gov. Kristi Noem, who say it should be preserved as a celebration of America, complete with an annual Independence Day fireworks display.


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