In another post, Sweeney shared a photo of “Lady Justice” being carried into the White House by Charles Addington, the head of law enforcement at the BIA, and by Tyler Fish, a BIA employee who has been detailed to the White House to serve as a liaison between tribes and the Trump administration. Smalling was grateful for the recognition. “An absolute honor to be affiliated with this most excellent multi-agency law enforcement initiative for Indian Country, my Choctaw Nation, and my family,” Smalling wrote in a post on social media. His tribe also highlighted his contribution to the new initiative. "Choctaw Nation is grateful for this Executive order establishing the Task Force," the tribe said in a social media post on Tuesday.
"This is a great day for #OperationLadyJustice", said @ASIndianAffairs. "Over the last year and a half, our partnership with the White House and other federal agencies has helped bring this issue to the forefront." https://t.co/ahLkwb0vkl pic.twitter.com/gOGPBz0ZuX— Indian Affairs (@USIndianAffairs) November 26, 2019
During the signing ceremony in the Oval Office, "Lady Justice" could be partially seen as Trump and tribal leaders discussed the importance of finding missing Native Americans and solving the homicides of their loved ones. Though it was mostly obscured in the video released by the Trump administration, an official photo taken by Joyce N. Boghosian of the White House more clearly shows the artwork. The same photo also shows that Trump still has a portrait of Andrew Jackson -- America's seventh president who is scorned by many in Indian Country for his role in contributing to the genocide of tribes like the Choctaw Nation -- in his office. It's been there since January 2017. During his tenure in the 1830s, Jackson forced the Choctaw Nation, the Chickasaw Nation, the Cherokee Nation, the Muscogee (Creek) Nation and the Seminole Nation out of their homelands in the southeast U.S. to present-day Oklahoma. Though the tribes today are thriving, the forced removal interrupted their ability to exercise jurisdiction over their territories, including laws that protected women, according to experts like Sarah Deer, an Indian law and policy expert who is Muscogee, and Mary Kathryn Nagle, a Cherokee attorney.
Meet #LadyJustice. DG Smalling @dg_smalling (Choctaw) circa 2018. She carries a shield of inter-locking arms as a symbolism of a battle standard to protect our people. Under her shield we can reclaim our Native communities. #Quyanaq @POTUS @SecBernhardt @KellyannePolls pic.twitter.com/Clm8wuzLmz— Assistant Secretary Tara Sweeney (@ASIndianAffairs) November 26, 2019