Video: Was Sen. John McCain Run Off the Navajo Nation?
by Indian Country Today, Aug 20, 2015
Reports, and a video, have surfaced claiming that protesters decrying the Oak Flat land grab and other disrespect to Indians allegedly perpetrated by John McCain ran his cavalcade off the Navajo Nation when he was there to celebrate Code Talkers Day on August 14.
“Water is life!” they changed in Navajo, waving banners painted with messages including “McCain = Indian Killer” and “McCain’s not welcome here.”
In the middle of the ceremony, as he took a break to pose for photos, McCain was approached by high school student Adriano Tsinigine. No sooner had the senator grasped the 17-year-old’s hand and smiled than Tsinigine whipped out a card stating “Save Oak Flat” and held it up. McCain shooed him away.
McCain’s next stop was the Window Rock Museum for meetings with Navajo Nation officials, the Phoenix New Times reported. Protesters met him there too, and when he left they ran after his vehicle. They said they drove him away, but McCain’s office said differently.
“Senator McCain was honored to be invited by the Navajo Nation to meet with tribal and community leaders and to speak at the celebration of the Navajo Code Talkers on Friday,” McCain’s press people said in a statement from the senator released to the Phoenix New Times. “It was a great visit, and he received a very warm reception from the Navajo community in Window Rock. He certainly wasn’t ‘chased off’ the reservation—this small group of young protesters had no practical impact on his productive meetings with top tribal leaders on a range of key issues, including the EPA’s recent Gold King Mine spill which threatens to contaminate the Navajo Nation’s water supply. Senator McCain was also extremely proud to help honor the Navajo Code Talkers on behalf of all Arizonans—their heroic service saved countless American and allied lives during World War II.”
Did they or didn’t they? Watch the protesters run after McCain’s departing vehicle.