Anishinaabek Caucus of the Michigan Democratic Party
Co-Founder and Secretary, Julie Dye, of the Anishinaabek Caucus of the Democratic Party and Vice-Chair of Pokagon Band Elders Council, appealed to the United Tribes of Michigan during their monthly meeting held on May 21, 2021, to support removing a George Armstrong Custer monument that resides in Monroe, Michigan. The United Tribes of Michigan voted unanimously to support the endeavor in terms of a resolution.
Lieutenant Colonel George Armstrong Custer is most famously known as the "Indian Killer." Amongst being one of the worst cadets at West Point, he racked up 726 demerits, then forged ahead with two court martials and a suspension from command for the desertion and mistreatment of his soldiers, Custer continued to hold no regard for direct orders or laws. Starting in 1866, Custer ordered and conducted horrific acts against Native Americans before he was finally stopped at the Battle of Little Bighorn in 1876. Custer broke Treaties between the Sioux Tribe and the US Government to seize the Black Hills in South Dakota for gold; this led to mass illegal immigration of white settlers onto Sioux land, sparking the Great Sioux War 1876. Custer hastily raided a peaceful Cheyenne village on reservation land, killing Native women and children and other heinous acts to quench his bloodthirst.
The Michigan Anishinaabek Caucus has been working with leaders of Monroe advocacy group, Good Trouble Monroe, led by activist Katybeth Davis and Dr. Graham Denton, for over a year to persuade action from the city of Monroe officials. Activists garnered over 15,000 signatures supporting removal, ten protests have been conducted, and testimonials are read and spoken at Monroe City Hall meetings. A "Custer Falls Again'' rally is scheduled for June 25, 2021, at the Custer Monument, located at Elm Avenue and North Monroe Street in Monroe, Michigan. The rally starts at 4:30 p.m. For more information, please visit www.goodtroublemonroe.org or www.anishinaabekcaucus.org.
The United Tribes of Michigan, led by Executive Director Frank Ettawageshik, comprises the Twelve Tribes of Michigan Chairpersons. The United Tribes of Michigan is "Committed to join forces, advance, protect, preserve and enhance the mutual interests, treaty rights, sovereignty and cultural way of life of the sovereign tribes of Michigan throughout the next seven generations."