DENVER (CBS4) – Following the removal of multiple controversial statues in Denver, the American Indian Movement, Colorado (AIM) held a victory rally at the foot of the pioneer monument where Kit Carson statue once stood. The celebration on Friday was about letting the community know there are more wrongs to right.
The group claimed it asked the city to be involved in the removal of the statue but were never contacted.
“When the city decided to take the statue down we were not consulted as indigenous people,” said Sky Roosevelt-Morris with the AIM leadership council.
Morris, a member of the White Mountain Apache and Shawnee Nations, has been a prominent voice behind the call to remove symbols of racism from around the state.
“You don’t get to take down these racist symbols without us because we were the ones that brought this issue to light, and we should be present when these symbols are taken down because he was a murderer,” she said.
There were just over 20 people who stood in the rain Friday. The celebration began with a prayer followed by impassioned speeches from Denver’s Native American community.
“I came here today with my son to teach him the right way,” Hiliary Alkire told the crowd.
The removal of yet another racist statue? A victory she says she has been fighting for her entire life.
“These are horrible people and yet for a long time, we’ve been told that we’re the ones that are wrong,” she said into a megaphone in front of where the Kit Carson statue once stood.
Alkire told CBS4 she wants to make sure her son doesn’t have to fight so hard for representation, but knows there is still a lot of work to do.
“Even though Native Americans make up 1% of the population, we’re still here. It takes a lot to keep our cultural going in a world that’s constantly suppressing us,” she said.
Morris said Friday, the statues are only the beginning.
“We can all come together and do this work,” Morris continued. “Not one of us without all of us. Black liberation is tied directly to indigenous liberation and we know that. We respect that and so we’re really honored that these symbols are slowly making their way to where they rightfully belong. In the trash.”