An entry in a Fourth of July parade in Iowa has sparked confusion and outrage — one woman on horseback pulling a rope used to bind the wrists of another woman wearing Native American dress.

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Commenters on Facebook and other social media sites were perplexed by the entry Tuesday in a parade in Muscatine. Some wondered whether it was a disapproving commentary on treatment of Indigenous people or an endorsement of that treatment.

Iowa Fox News graphic

A display at Muscatine, Iowa’s Independence Day Parade left onlookers confused and local officials outraged over its portrayal of a Native American woman being pulled by a rope by a second woman on horseback.

Mayor Brad Bark said he spoke with the group responsible and was told their intention was to pay homage to the Cherokee Nation and how unjustly its members were treated.

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Megan Burton, the woman on the horse, told the Quad-City Times that the portrayal was on behalf of Cherokee National Treasure, a group that honors distinguished Cherokees. Burton said she and the woman who appeared to be portraying a slave are both of Native American descent.

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The parade’s host, the Greater Muscatine Chamber of Commerce and Industry, said in a statement that it “does not condone this behavior and this entry does not represent our community.”

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