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Native American activist protest proposed development in Micanopy

Published: Feb. 27, 2021 at 6:52 PM EST
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GAINESVILLE, Fla. (WCJB) - It’s been 48 years since the South Dakota Wounded Knee Occupation. To honor the past, Native American activists gathered near a battlefield site threatened by a proposed development in Micanopy.

Members of Florida Indigenous rights and environmental equality remembered the 71-day siege of 1973.

“The commemoration is to honor the people of the Ogala nation that lost their lives between the time of Wounded Knee and the attack on the jumping bulls in Oglala,” Paulette Robideau said.

While they honored their history with song and a visit to a Native American burial mound, they chose this park because it’s not far from the proposed development of a dollar store they said may threaten a Micanopy battlefield.

“We’re looked at as we’re nothing,” Stewart Flores said. “That they can use our land, because we are indigenous people that no one cares about. We’re still standing.”

Activist, Stewart Flores, explained that they are there to remind others their history matters. He said his ancestors fought for him and it’s only right he do the same for him.

“No one really wants to talk about the atrocities this government has done to our peoples yet we still stand here,” Flores added. “I stand here because my people fought for me to be here.”

They also called for the freedom of Leonard Peltier, a Native American activist who is in a Central Florida prison for aiding and abetting the death of two FBI agents in 1975.

“You say you care about indigenous people,” Flores said. “If you even say that you have a percentage of indigenous blood in you, stand up for the rights of your people’s.”

As they came out to honor those who came before them, they encourage others to stand for their cause.

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