Thousands take to Twitter to pray for a monument to Native Americans

An online campaign has come to represent the optimism of a burgeoning American Indian nation.

Open prayers posted on Twitter from the Albuquerque Art Council’s website have inspired conversations and online prayer in response to concerns that President Donald Trump will visit the Chaco Culture Center on Wednesday and possibly make it a monument.

Y’all should know that after @_tbambi tweeted this to me, we started a silent prayer in reaction to a show of disrespect by @realDonaldTrump. We soon learned that this is a burgeoning organized #NativeQuest online movement. Your support and activism is important too! — Dean Ojito (@d2ojito) April 16, 2018

Y’all looking up Chaco?

There’s a whole lot of prayer there that really needs to be done. Let’s do this for the people and the land!

* @_tbambi* — Lucas Metzger (@Lassi_23) April 16, 2018

Other hashtags #IfNotNowChaco and #NativeQuest have been a force on Twitter. Among the most-talked about tweets is one from Michael Metzger, a Navajo from Albuquerque, who tweets from a password-protected account.

The entire indigenous population is arguing if we really need a monument to the #Chaco Culture Center that was plundered and mistreated by @realDonaldTrump administration. Please be a voice of #chaco throughout this media, academia and political thing. It’s not a win. It’s a failure. I just want to make this official ✊🏼 — Michael Metzger (@Lassi_23) April 16, 2018

In a letter to the editors of The New York Times, Metzger said he doesn’t want a monument to the Chaco Culture Center.

“I am told that the culture center was very inconvenient to the Cherokee at the time and the organizers were not able to contact Cherokee leaders in time, and that this disregard in telling the Cherokee about what was happening was due to expediency,” Metzger wrote. “I do not oppose establishing a memorial to Chaco but if we are to create a monument to someone, we should be asking them to sacrifice a little as well. If we are to build monuments to these people, then we should at least ask them to sacrifice a little themselves, too.”

Metzger, a member of the Standing Rock Sioux Tribe in North Dakota, added, “Just like indigenous people understand the danger of erasing history, so too does Donald Trump understand the dangers of erasing history when that history features racism, genocide and genocide’s aftershocks.”

While the U.S. Department of the Interior has rejected calls for such a monument, support has bloomed from Twitter to tribes all over the country.

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