American Indians Take Part “Families Belong Together” Rally in Tulsa

Hundreds gathered for the “Families Belong Together” rally in Tulsa on Saturday. Native News Online photos by Levi Rickert

Published June 30, 2018

TULSA, Okla. – Under sunny skies and the morning temperature nearing 90 degrees, several American Indians joined hundreds of people taking part in the “Families Belong Together” rally outside The David L. Moss Criminal Justice Center in Tulsa, Oklahoma.

The rally in Tulsa was one of hundreds held nationwide protesting the Trump administration’s zero-tolerance immigration policy that has separated some 2,300 children from parents at the southern border of the United States.

To many American Indians, the Trump administration’s tactics of separating families is a stark reminder of how the federal government took American Indian children from their parents and put them in Indian boarding schools with the justification of “Americanizing” the children. The government used the phrase: “Kill the Indian, save the man” in an attempt to strip American Indians of their culture. The Indian school era lasted for decades.

Under the Trump administration, the zero-tolerance immigration policy is, plain and simple, an mass attempt to keep non-white people out of the United States for the children pose absolutely zero threat to the nation’s security.

Jason Tillery (Osage/Cherokee) was in the Tulsa crowd holding a sign.

Jason Tilery (right) feels the immigration discussion of today is 300 years late.

“I came to today because what is going on, it’s not right to separate families. They have done this in the past. It causes generational trauma, as it did to Native families, They are doing the same genocide,” Tillery told Native News Online. When asked as an American Indian what he thought about immigration laws in the United States, he says “we are about three hundred years too late,” mixed with laughter in his voice.

Shawna Kenton, a tribal citizen of the San Carlos Apache Tribe in San Carlos, Arizona, brought her 8-year-old son, Karter Factor (San Carlos/Creek) to the rally to show him children are children no matter where they are from.

San Carlos Apache tribal citizen, Shawna Kenton brought her son, Karter Factor.

The crowd included young and old.

One protester giving the right-wing evangelicals some Word.

Lanakay Harjochee and Patty Collins were in crowd representing.



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