Quickly move forward to a Zoom meeting in 2021, where the board consulted Abrahamson and the Exploration Center’s executive director, Alexandria Searls.
In 2019, the center expressed interest in taking the statue, and now in 2021, they plan to work with descendants of Sacajawea and other indigenous groups to contextualize it within the new setting.
âOur hope is to involve the Native American Student Alliance in [the University of Virginia] and having performers from their band and other bands to really get buy-in from a lot of different people, âSearls explained. “How Shoshone would like the statue to be interpreted is of paramount importance.”
Abrahamson supported the idea of ââmoving the statue to the center, while also wishing it would be destroyed.
âAs far as I’m concerned, it was a very offensive statue. Not only did it demarcate me as a Native American, it demarcated women and our role in society, âAbrahamson explained. âIn my opinion, I think it should just be melted downâ¦ but if it can be used to convey a bigger message to educate the public, that would be an opportunity. So I am very satisfied with what is happening.
If the statue were to ultimately be placed in the Exploratory Center, Searls noted that it could be part of education on missing or murdered Indigenous women. Plus, since it’s no longer in a public space devoid of context, Abrahamson said, the statue can take on a more nuanced meaning.
âWith this statue in its depiction and being in a place where it is not offensive, yet in a place where it can educate the public about missing or murdered indigenous women.â
Although city council earmarked funding last week to cover the removal of the statue in addition to that of Jackson and Lee, Councilor Michael Payne said he had no plans to remove it today. ‘hui.
âOur initial expectation in terms of cost and time was that [Team Henry Enterprises LLC] would be able to do Jackson and Lee, âPayne said. âThey finished early, and we realized that they could move [Sacajawea, Lewis and Clark] thus at no additional cost to the city.
The reasoning for the sudden reunion, he adds, was a technical detail that had to happen in order to speed up their plans.
According to city spokesperson Brian Wheeler, the statue is being placed at Darden Towe Park where it may eventually become part of the Lewis and Clark Exploratory Center.
âI would like to say that we have come a long way to become the human tribe that we should be and come together in unity and come together to educate our young people and our future generations,â Abrahamson said.