The whole story: Before and after video of Nathan Phillips, #MAGAyouth and more

Controversy is brewing over the incident, but videos provided to Indian Country Today by Kaya Taitano show a clear story

As social media has exploded over the weekend regarding the video-captured incident of Catholic High School students mocking Native American elder and Vietnam-era veteran Nathan Phillips, four videos provide to Indian Country Today by Kaya Taitano show a clear story of what happened prior, during and after the incident that has now been shared worldwide.

Nathan Phillips told Indian Country Today in an interview on Saturday that he had gone into the situation, then realized he might be in a precarious position once he stepped in between the crowds of people.

See related: An interview with Nathan Phillips on the #MAGAYouth incident

Video 1 of 4 - Indigenous Peoples March #MAGAyouth, Nathan Phillips and others

On Sunday, several media outlets reported that the mother of the Covington Catholic High School student who stood face to face with Nathan Phillips had blamed the incident on “Black Muslims” who were standing at the base of the Lincoln Memorial while the students were standing on the stairs. Others on social media stated the men identified themselves as “Black Israelites.”

For a brief moment at the beginning of the video, a priest is seen watching from behind the boys.

In an email to a reporter and article, the mother wrote in an email, “Shame on you! Were you there? Did you hear the names the people where calling these boys? It was shameful. Did you witness the black Muslims yelling profanities and video taping trying to get something to futher (sic) your narrative of hatred?? Did you know that this “man” came up to this one boy and drummed in his face? Shame on you. Only reporting what you want. More fake news.”

In the video, the interactions can be seen and heard. The men, since identified as “Black Israelites” say things like “We have angels around us,” and “This is what Makes America Great Again,” while pointing at the crowd of high school students.

The high school students continue to yell and scream and one boy removes his shirt as the excitement of the boys grows.

Nathan Phillips enters in between the crowd and the Black Israelites singing a prayer song, known as the AIM song.

Phillips told Indian Country Today he admitted that he didn't really realize what he had gotten into until he was in the middle of it.

He said, “What am I doing?” You know? But this is the commitment when I picked up the pipe 27 years ago. It's for the next generation. It’s when that moment comes and you got to stand your ground. That commitment that you made to either fulfill that or you don't. I mean, I was scared and I didn't want to. I really, I really didn't want to, but nobody else was.”

Video by Kaya Taitano provided to Indian Country Today.

Update: Further video footage found.

Video footage posted on the patheos blog site titled "LETTERS FROM THE EDGE OF ELFLAND" shows the four men yelling expletives to Indigenous people at the march telling them that "God took away their land" for worshiping animals and that the word "Indian means savage." They also insult Native elders, women and men.

The men who are described as "Black Israelites, call the high school students 'dirty ass crackers' - One of the men also asks when is the last time a non-white person had shot up a school.

The author of the site post, David Russell Mosely describes egregious behavior by the men in the video.

"The video begins with a group of men shouting a variety of racial slurs mixed with Bible passages announcing that God has judged America and that now is a time for hate. Roman Catholics are called out for being pedophiles and faggots. Native Americans are called out for worshipping eagles, phoenixes, buffalo, and the wind. Blacks, hispanics, and Native Americans are all told that they are not black, hispanic, or Natives, rather they are the “Children of Israel.” This term does not apply to the people currently living in Israel, those who call themselves Jews, or white people.

Soon these men begin calling the students “dusty crackers” and products of incest. Cue Nathan Philips and his group.

Philips can be seen from this new angle clearly walking between the two groups. What he knew or what he thought about the situation I don’t know."

Watch the lengthy video here

Video 2 of 4 - Indigenous Peoples March incident Nathan Phillips and #MAGAyouth

In the second video, already seen in parts or the whole by the world, and as described in the video, “Nathan Phillips continues to sing and pray, and this is when the high school student steps in front of Phillips and doesn't move.”

Video by Kaya Taitano provided to Indian Country Today.

Video 3 of 4 - Nathan Phillips and #MAGAyouth, a chaperone and more…

Nathan Phillips continues to sing and is joined by Quese IMC. Students continue to mock and sing along.

Video by Kaya Taitano provided to Indian Country Today.

Video 4 of 4 - Indigenous Peoples Day incident - Nathan Phillips says "Relatives"

Nathan Phillips calls everyone relatives even after the mockery. Shortly after this video, he shares his thoughts on a previously shared video.

Video by Kaya Taitano provided to Indian Country Today.

As previously reported, Nathan Phillips spoke after the incident, he said “these are indigenous lands, we never had walls,” in response to the “Build a Wall, Build a Wall” chants.

Jourdan Bennett-Begaye contributed to this report.


Follow Indian Country Today’s associate editor Vincent Schilling (Akwesasne Mohawk) on Twitter - @VinceSchilling

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Comments (88)
No. 1-25

Regarding to Nathan Phillips' remarks at the end- Yeah we know how it ended for the Native Americans. The European settlers had defensive fortification walls (clearly not "medieval" as some considered for the present day border wall). Never had prison? Tying up and confining someone as a captor or punishment is the definition of imprisonment.


The words written do not match what is shown in the video. It says that the boy stepped in front of Nathan Phillips when the video clearly shows that he singled out and started drumming right in the boys face. At first the boy seemed confused and awkwardly smiled and then he realized that Mr. Phillips was acting in a very aggressive and intimidating manner and decided to stand his ground. Fake news! What a shameful display of journalism.


The whole time the elder was drumming, the kid could have moved back. There was plenty of room.


Thank you for posting the additional videos. With respect to the first video, I am struck wondering why the students were seemingly unsupervised for nearly 2 hours in front of the Lincoln Memorial where they traded insults and taunts with the Black Israelite group.

As Mr. Phillips wisely asked: Where were the teachers, parents, and chaperones? Why did they fail their young people?


I swear Nathan Phillips is an angel to have taken on such a hostile environment with such love, kindness, and compassion in the midst of disrespect and oppression. He cared so much for these people (both the Black Israelites and MAGA supporters) and tried to calm down the hostility in the atmosphere with prayer and compassion. He has such a beautiful soul that he still calls these people relatives, even after all the mockery. Mad props to Mr. Phillips. I wish he'd run for president, he'd have my vote!