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Some relevant background information: 

  • The first quote is by Lyda Conley. Her and two of her sisters (Helena & Ida) camped in Huron Cemetery in 1906, after white colonizers decided to ‘sell’ the burial grounds in order to build businesses on top of the Conley sisters’ ancestors. The U.S. law passed special legislation authorizing the Secretary of Interior to sell the ‘property’.  The sisters vowed that the graves would not be desecrated, they made signs like ‘Trespassers Beware,’ and built a shed, which they named ‘Fort Conley’. They armed themselves and took turns guarding the grounds, day & night.  Source (with a longer interview with Lyda). The photo is of Lyda Conley (center) with another sister, Lena, and a cousin of theirs. Photo source
  • Aquash (4th picture) participated in the 1972 Trail of Broken Treaties and occupation of the Department of Interior headquarters in Washington, DC; the Wounded Knee Incident in 1973; and armed occupations in Canada and Wisconsin in following years. She was murdered at the age of 30. 
  • If you have time, you should also read the really great full interview Margo Tamez’s quote (second to last photo) was pulled from.
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