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Navajo Nation president says 'America is Indian country' after Trump's 'Pocahontas' remarks

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Image source: TheBlaze

Navajo Nation President Russell Begaye, on Tuesday's airing of CNN's "New Day," insisted that even in 2017, every "non-Indian out there" is a "guest of Native Americans."

What did he say?

Speaking with CNN's Alisyn Camerota and actor, producer, and founder of American Indians in Film and Television, Sonny Skyhawk, Begaye discussed President Donald Trump's "Pocahontas" quip during his Monday meeting honoring Native American veterans, which he called "unnecessary" and "culturally insensitive."

Later during the interview, Camerota asked Begaye what he wanted from the president after Monday's viral "Pocahontas" incident.

"What do you want from the president? Do you want an apology?" Camerota asked.

Begaye responded that he wants Trump to continue honoring Navajo "code talkers" and veterans and respect their sacrifices.

He explained, "That’s who we are as Americans, we thank each other, especially in defense of freedom of this great nation, and for Native Americans, this is our land."

"Every inch of it, every mountain, every stream, every water that is out there, it is ours," he added. "It’s Native American country. That’s why we will defend it all the way, because we have no other place to go."

Begaye reiterated, "America is Indian country."

"And so every non-Indian out there is a guest of Native Americans in this country," he added. "And that’s how they should act. And if you’re a guest in this nation, that’s how you should act, especially if you’re in the middle of and in the midst of these war heroes."

He concluded, "I ask the president to respect our people, to respect our heritage, to respect who we are as Native Americans — especially war heroes."

Another perspective

A 2014 study from University of Georgia historian Claudio Saunt — which was based on a set of maps produced in 1899 by the Bureau of American Ethnology; a research unit of the Smithsonian — examined the transfer of Indian land between 1776 and 1887.

An interactive time-lapse map of the country shows that the United States took more than 1.5 billion acres from indigenous Native American peoples, and that didn't even count the greater east coast of the U.S., which was seized almost entirely prior to 1776.

The whole of the continental U.S is comprised of approximately 2.3 billion acres.

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