Native American leader takes aim at Cuomo’s statue plans

NEW YORK (AP) — The head of the American Indian Law Alliance is taking aim at Gov. Andrew Cuomo’s plans to nominate New York City’s statue of Christopher Columbus to the National Register of Historic Places.

Betty Lyons said on Tuesday that the 1892 statue represents genocide, enslavement, exploitation of children and land grabs.

She says the Democratic governor is insensitive to the concerns of 100,000 indigenous peoples living in New York state.

Cuomo says many historical figures, including Columbus, did bad things as well as great things and that’s “part of the lesson.”

A city commission appointed to review historical statues decided to keep the Columbus Circle monument, which Italian-American groups view as a source of ethnic pride.

The city is adding markers to contextualize the figures such statues depict.

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