What do you think of when you hear “America’s Founding Fathers”? Do George Washington, Thomas Jefferson, Alexander Hamilton, John Jay, Benjamin Franklin, John Adams and James Madison come to mind? While most of us have been taught that they were a part of America’s Founding Fathers, Native Americans would disagree. This is because they had organized civilizations and governments long before Washington, Franklin and the others were born.
In this picture, artist David Behrens tried to make the point clear that we need to change
our understanding of who were some important figures in the history of the Native Americans. Behrens makes a second point with this picture. The location of the 4 Native American leaders is in front of Mt. Rushmore in the Black Hills in South Dakota. According to Wikipedia, this land was sacred to the local tribes and had been promised to them in the Treaty of Fort Laramie of 1868 thus ending Red Cloud’s War. But typical of many treaties, the non-native Americans disregarded the promises and seized the land. Where the sacred hills are located, there are 4 sculptures of non-native leaders (George Washington, Thomas Jefferson, Theodore Roosevelt and Abraham Lincoln) at Mt. Rushmore. This serves as a constant reminder of the injustice done to the Native Americans.
At the front of the picture, the artist placed portraits of Chief Joseph, Sitting Bull, Geronimo and Red Cloud. These men, who lived in the 1800s, came from different tribes and had different approaches to dealing with the Whites. At Behrens’ website, the artist describes in more detail the fascinating background of each these men. You can find this “Original Founding Fathers” jigsaw puzzle and more Native American themed puzzles at A+ Puzzles, Etc.