A Catholic high school in Kentucky is facing social media backlash after videosposted online appeared to show an elderly Indigenous protester being mocked at a rally in Washington, D.C.
According to Native American media, Phillips is an elder in Omaha and a veteran of the Vietnam War. "You know, this is indigenous lands. We always provided for them, we taught them right from wrong", Phillips said before deeply exhaling.
"The behaviour shown in that video is just a snapshot of what indigenous people have faced and are continuing to face", Ms Buffalo said.
"When I was there singing, I heard them saying 'Build that wall, build that wall,"' Phillips said, as he wiped away tears in a video posted on Instagram. Other youths, some wearing clothing with Covington logos, surround them, laughing and shouting. We are confident they will respond appropriately 2 make this an important teachable moment. This behavior is opposed to the Church's teachings on the dignity and respect of the human person. In the footage of the encounter, numerous boys are wearing Make America Great Again hats, and can be seen laughing at and imitating a Native drummer.
A school calendar for Covington Catholic shows that students were planning on being in Washington, D.C. on January 18 and 19 for the March for Life, an anti-abortion event.
"We condemn the actions of the Covington Catholic High School students towards Nathan Phillips specifically, and Native Americans in general, January 18, after the March for Life, in Washington, D.C." read a statement on the organization's website.
The teens were visiting Washington D.C.as part of a field trip from the Covington Catholic school in Kentucky.
In that role, he has encountered anti-Native American sentiment before: In 2015, Phillips was verbally attacked by a group of Eastern Michigan University students who were dressed as Native Americans during a theme party near the town of Ypsilanti, according to news reports.
"We know this incident also has tainted the entire witness of the March for Life and express our most honest apologies to all those who attended the March and all those who support the pro-life movement", said the statement.
Darren Thompson, an organizer for the Indigenous Peoples Movement, said in the news release that the incident "is emblematic of the state of our discourse in Trump's America".
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