(Update here. Nathan Phillips now says he got between two warring groups.) A diocese in Kentucky apologized Saturday after videos emerged showing students from a Catholic boys' high school mocking Native Americans outside the Lincoln Memorial after a rally in Washington, the AP reports. The Indigenous Peoples March in Washington on Friday coincided with the March for Life, which drew thousands of anti-abortion protesters, including a group from Covington Catholic High School in Park Hills. Videos circulating online show a youth staring at and standing extremely close to Nathan Phillips, a 64-year-old Native American man singing and playing a drum. Other students, some wearing Covington clothing and many wearing "Make America Great Again" hats and sweatshirts, surrounded them, chanting, laughing, and jeering.
In a joint statement to the Cincinnati Enquirer, the Roman Catholic Diocese of Covington Catholic High School apologized to Phillips. "We extend our deepest apologies to Mr. Phillips," the statement reads. "This behavior is opposed to the Church's teachings on the dignity and respect of the human person." Officials say they are investigating and will take "appropriate action, up to and including expulsion." According to the Indian Country Today website, Phillips is an Omaha elder and Vietnam veteran who holds an annual ceremony honoring Native American veterans at Arlington National Cemetery. "When I was there singing, I heard them saying 'Build that wall, build that wall,'" Phillips said, as he wiped away tears in a video posted on Instagram. "This is indigenous lands. We're not supposed to have walls here. We never did."
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