Kari Lake tweets about preserving Western heritage

​Volunteers with the nonprofit organization Diné CARE (Citizens Against Ruining Our Environment) talk with the Navajo Nation voters at the Dilkon Chapter House in Dilkon, Arizona, on Election Day in 2020.

Kari Lake, the former television anchor seeking the Republican nomination for Arizona governor, I took to Twitter earlier this year to declare she will fight to preserve the “western Arizona heritage” and won’t let the state become like the California suburbs.

In the Feb. 12 tweet, the candidate wrote that “the spirit of all the cowboys that settled here in this unforgiving desert lives in each of us.”

At a time of increasing land acknowledgments, Indigenous advocates say Lake forgets the “unforgiving desert” was already inhabited and settled by Indigenous peoples who were here long before the cowboys she praised.

Even if the wording was an oversight, it has raised the question among Indigenous voters of how Arizona gubernatorial candidates will work with tribes if they become the state’s next governor.

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