On Monday I posted a piece on Secretary Zinke:
Zinke Ignores Tribal Sovereignty and Gets Aggressive with Indigenous Activist – LINK
Secretary Zinke responded to this piece by tweeting a picture of himself with a pair of moccasins and that he was going to be participating in #RockYourMocs, a week-long event that is held during National Native American Heritage Month. #RockYourMocs honors and celebrates moccasins and the meaningful status they carry among Native American and Indigenous peoples.
The backlash from Indigenous activists was immediate as they were unimpressed with the attempt at appropriation by Secretary Zinke in his lame response to valid criticisms of his policy to shrink National Monuments. As chronicled in Teen Vogue:
In August, Zinke recommended that President Donald Trump shrink the size of and environmental protections around Bears Ears National Monument, a monument in Utah established by former President Barack Obama at the end of his term. Native Americans had lobbied for years to earn Bears Ears those protections. via Teen Vogue
#ROCKYOURMOCS is filled with photos of Native people wearing their moccasins. The week-long celebration was started by Jessica “Jaylyn” Atsye, from Laguna Pueblo, New Mexico. A student at the time, Jaylyn started the hashtag to create unity among indigenous peoples.
“When someone asks you, ‘What do your shoes represent?’ or ‘What’s the story behind your moccasins?’ there can be endless descriptions,” she said to the Associated Press in 2013. “They show who you are. They’re an identifier. They can bring unity.” via Teen Vogue
Secretary Zinke had recently stated according to New York Magazine:
Former Montana Superintendent of Public Instruction Denise Juneau posted a #RockYourMocs picture to Twitter.
— Denise Juneau (@denisejuneau) November 15, 2017
Denise is an enrolled member of the Mandan Hidatsa Tribes and a descendant of the Blackfeet tribe. In 2008, she became the first American Indian woman in the country ever elected to an executive statewide office. In 2012, she was reelected to a second term as Montana’s Superintendent of Public Instruction. via DeniseJuneau.com