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Andrew Jackson was called ‘Indian killer.’ Trump honored Navajos in front of his portrait.

Andrew Jackson was called ‘Indian killer.’ Trump honored Navajos in front of his portrait.

THE WASHINGTON POST – ELI ROSENBERG

The prominent placement of an Andrew Jackson portrait during an event meant to honor a group of Native Americans at the Oval Office on Monday has raised questions about the White House’s message.

Jackson is known for his harsh treatment of Native Americans as president, famously signing the Indian Removal Act, which led to thousands of Native American deaths as tens of thousands were forced to relocate. Some observers thought the juxtaposition of his portrait during the event with the stated purpose of honoring three Navajo code talkers was strange.

“We noticed,” said Jacqueline Pata, executive director of the National Congress of American Indians. “Andrew Jackson wasn’t necessarily a president who was respectful of tribal governments and Native Americans. This is one of those eras that is probably bleaker in terms of the relationship between Native Americans and the federal government.”

The portrait is visible for the entirety of the White House’s 17-minute broadcast of the event.

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