Donald Trump Jr. launches 'Natives for Trump'

Donald Trump Jr. speaks to a crowd Thursday at the Williams, Arizona, rodeo grounds. (Photo by Carina Dominguez, Indian Country Today)

Election 2020

Updated: The president's eldest son campaigned for him in Arizona and urged the crowd to register to vote #NativeVote20

Carina Dominguez
Indian Country Today

WILLIAMS, Ariz.  Donald Trump Jr. headlined a rally here Thursday that marked the launch of a "Native Americans for Trump" coalition.

More than 200 people gathered at the town's rodeo grounds for the event, which featured a drum group and powwow dancers. Flags lined the stage, and a “Native Americans for Trump” banner decorated the risers.

The president's eldest son noted that Thursday was the last day to register to vote in Arizona, and he urged attendees to register and to tell their friends to do the same.

“Make sure they understand what’s at stake because it's all on the line," he said.

Supporters cheered when he cited his father's support of the military.

From left, Navajo siblings Roland Denetso, Shauntay Denetso and Tyler Denetso, members of the Standing Horse Dancers. (Photo by Carina Dominguez, Indian Country Today)
From left, Navajo siblings Roland Denetso, Shauntay Denetso and Tyler Denetso, members of the Standing Horse Dancers. (Photo by Carina Dominguez, Indian Country Today)

"Obama-Biden allowed our military to get dilapidated by fighting unnecessarily, spending money so those guys could get working," Trump Jr. said. "Donald Trump wants to do the opposite. He wants to bring our troops home and build up our military here, so if we need to use it, we are ready."

He also commented on news coverage, saying the "multibillion-dollar mainstream media complex" is functioning as a marketing department for the Democratic Party.

Also among the speakers were Republican U.S. Rep. Markwayne Mullin, Cherokee, of Oklahoma, and Arizona Republican state Rep. Walt Blackman of Snowflake.

“I want you to give the Native Americans for Trump a round of applause because they are really doing it,” Blackman said. "Thank you so much." 

Some prominent Diné attendees included Myron Lizer, Navajo Nation vice president; Carlyle Begay, former Republican Arizona state senator; Karen Bedonie, former Republican candidate for U.S. House in New Mexico; and Elisa Martinez, former GOP candidate for U.S. Senate in New Mexico.

Donald Trump Jr. speaks to the crowd Thursday, Oct. 15, 2020, at the Williams, Arizona, rodeo grounds. (Photo by Carina Dominguez, Indian Country Today)
Donald Trump Jr. greets supporters Thursday at a rally at the Williams, Arizona, rodeo grounds. (Photo by Carina Dominguez, Indian Country Today)
People gather on risers at the Williams, Arizona, rodeo grounds under a “Native Americans for Trump” banner Thursday, Oct. 14, 2020. (Photo by Carina Dominguez, Indian Country Today)
People gather on risers at the Williams, Arizona, rodeo grounds under a “Native Americans for Trump” banner Thursday. (Photo by Carina Dominguez, Indian Country Today)

After his speech, Trump Jr. mingled with the audience, posed for photos and watched a performance by a group of Navajo dancers.

Robin Briggman, Hopi, of Sedona described the atmosphere as electrifying.

“It was very exciting and so great to be in a group of people who are all on the same page," the lifelong Republican and Trump supporter said. "It makes my heart feel happy."

(Related: Crow Tribal Chairman endorses Trump campaign) 

Briggman, who is 64 and partially retired, expressed confidence that under Trump’s leadership, Native people can expand infrastructure and business on reservations.

“Once our kids finish school, they leave and they don’t come back because there are no jobs," she said. "I’m worried that our traditional ways will be lost.”

The Trump campaign has been hitting Arizona hard this week as the presidential candidates make a last push before the election. 

On Wednesday, Trump Jr. was joined at a southern Arizona rally by Republican U.S. Sen. Martha McSally, who is also on the Nov. 3 ballot. He traveled to Mesa later Thursday for a "Latter-Day Saints for Trump" event.

The president’s daughter Ivanka Trump appeared in Chandler on Sunday.

Trump carried Arizona by 3.5 percentage points over Hillary Clinton during the 2016 presidential election. During this election, however, Arizona, usually reliably Republican, is considered a swing state.

Thursday's events come a week after Democratic presidential nominee Joe Biden and vice presidential nominee Sen. Kamala Harris met with several tribal leaders while campaigning in Phoenix.

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Carina Dominguez, Pascua Yaqui, is a correspondent for the Indian Country Today Newscast. She covers news, politics and environmental issues. She’s most familiar with southwest tribes and splits her time between Phoenix, Arizona and New York, New York. CarinaDominguez@indiancountrytoday.com, Twitter: @Carinad7, Instagram: @CarinaNicole7

Indian Country Today national correspondent Mary Annette Pember, Red Cliff Ojibwe, contributed to this report.

Indian Country Today is a nonprofit news organization. Will you support our work? All of our content is free. There are no subscriptions or costs. And we have hired more Native journalists in the past year than any news organization ─ and with your help we will continue to grow and create career paths for our people. Support Indian Country Today for as little as $10.

Comments (21)
No. 1-12
Harv Hilowitz
Harv Hilowitz

If people are for destruction of the environment, encroachment of Tribal lands in Alaska, Utah, Massachusetts and many other places, and for racism, race hatred and white power, and the loss of ACA Health Insurance, then vote for trump. Otherwise vote BIDEN-HARRIS !!!

Naat'aanii
Naat'aanii

even custard had his scouts.... dooda TRUMP..... ÁDAA ÁHÁYÁ take care of yourself!

Gregolio55
Gregolio55

The Republicans have no concern for the Native people in Arizona or anywhere. They talk about saving tradition ,while bringing on oil companies and mining developers to destroy the land. Tribal leaders pocket bribes and the rest of the tribe lives with the results .Trump's a typical forked tongued wasuchi.
Vote Biden if you respect tradition .

caniscandida
caniscandida

There's no way anything Trump has said or done can be honestly interpreted as good for Native people. As for his alleged "support of the military," he called them "suckers" and "losers." Fortunately most Native people are too smart to believe the self-serving lies of either the father or the son.

WSullivan
WSullivan

How Fascism Works: The Politics of Us and Them:

Tpepion
Tpepion

Do you like the way the President treats
you and others? Is your decision forgiveness of sin? Do the right thing that benefits the most people even if you have to sacrifice someting.

Dolly1245
Dolly1245

Donald Trump isn't a Republican Donald Trump is a liar and a corrupt Con man. My father use to tell me 'if they fool you once, shame on them, but if they fool you twice shame on you. Donald Trump is only interested in Donald Trump and making a profit.
Donald Trump is a WHITE NATIONALIST DOMESTIC TERRORIST. Trump is responsible for the pipelines crossing your land, and drilling oil in Alaska, and taking away your rights to vote when you don't have an address no one will have health care because Donald Trump has no plan for health care. Donald Trump has no plan and never did to stop this Covid 19 killer of people in every state. Trump is a traitor to the country and the people. When people tell you Native people are Conservative and always have been, remind them that Donald Trump is not Conservative, Donald Trump is the Donald Trump party and he will destroy us all just has he has done to the very foundations of our Government. Makes me sad to believe any Native person believes Trump is good for Native people, he isn't good for Native people don't be fooled by the facts and evidence that will tell you he's corrupt and a criminal and has been all his life.

rachellit
rachellit

Interesting...

Yosemite
Yosemite

Thanks for this story.

Trump’s red MAGA hats are made in China where Donald Trump banks. He made something like $5 million in business profits the first year of his Presidency, while at the same time his tariffs closed Chinese markets to American products and manufacturers. Then we the taxpayers bailed out our farmers. Trump didn’t pay any taxes.

According to the New York Times, Trump has a bank account in China and paid nearly $200,000 in taxes to China 2016-2017 while only paying $750 in taxes to the US. He knows he has to pay his taxes in China, because they don’t fool around over there.

So much is at stake. In the West, more loss of our open, natural lands. Arctic oil exportation. The Sheep Range, the very heart of Desert National Wildlife Refuge, will be given to the Air Force for a bombing range. 850,000 acres of public lands in Northern Nevada will be given to the US Navy for more high-altitude bombing ranges.

Vote like we’re saving the planet. We the people, can only hope to slow down the monetizing of what’s left of our free, open lands.

Gregolio55
Gregolio55

Hoka he

1 Reply

caniscandida
caniscandida

Way to go, Crazy Horse!

Disabled Vet
Disabled Vet

The man insulted a woman calling her "Pocahontas" in front of Navajo Code Talkers in the White House under a painting of Andrew Jackson. What part of this tells you just how much of a joke Indians are to the Trump family and how much the president despises tribal nations?


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