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July 6th, 2020
Chair Grijalva on Mt. Rushmore Fireworks Display Opposed by Tribes: “This is the Administration That Blew Up Sacred Native Burial Grounds for its Wall”

Washington, D.C. – Chair Raúl M. Grijalva (D-Ariz.) today released the following statement on President Trump’s planned event at Mt. Rushmore in South Dakota, which will include a fireworks display that had not been practiced for more than a decade due to concerns about wildfires and water contamination. According to the impact assessment that allowed the event to go forward, “All tribes consulted objected to the event and consider it to be an adverse effect to the traditional cultural property and traditional cultural landscape of the Black Hills” – which played no apparent part in the administration’s decision-making.

“This is the same administration that’s ignored desperate tribal requests for help with coronavirus response, blown up sacred Native burial grounds to build a racist wall across our southern border, supported massive oil pipelines that nearby tribes oppose, and illegally tried to dissolve the Mashpee Wampanoag Tribe until a federal judge stepped in. The president and his deputies ignore tribal input and denigrate Native American lives at every opportunity. It’s a sad day when the president of the United States uses the Fourth of July to demonstrate his power to hurt the people he was elected to represent, but nobody can be surprised at this and nobody should imagine it will stop until he’s removed from office.”

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