The reservations have bigger problems than a statue.


Members of the American Indian Caucus of the Montana Legislature have renewed calls for the removal of a Confederate memorial in Helena.

The fountain sits in Hill Park and was commissioned over a century ago by the United Daughters of the Confederacy. It stands as a memorial to confederate soldiers and has come under fire in the past.

Responding to the letter, Helena Mayor Jim Smith told MTN News he and city commissioners will discuss the issue at an administrative meeting Wednesday.

After the violent events in Charlottesville, Virginia, over the weekend, the American Indian Caucus called for the memorial to be taken down.

In the letter, they asked “the Helena City Commission and all of our statewide officials to step up and remove the Confederate Memorial Fountain from Helena, Montana, our capital city. The fountain was commissioned by the United Daughters of the Confederacy, an organization that openly supported the white supremacist views and mission of the early Ku Klux Klan.”

In 2015, the Helena City Commission decided to put up a sign to give more context to the memorial, but that sign never went up.

“It is especially troubling that although the Commission voted more than two years ago to add a sign explaining the history of the monument and its roots in a racist movement, city staff has not yet been able to complete this task,” the letter said.

Smith said the delay was caused by complications with making the sign compliant with the Americans with Disabilities Act.

The mayor said he thinks it’s too late for a sign now.

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