SD tribal leaders discuss solutions to combat “blatant racism”

South Dakota Tribal leaders met Saturday to discuss which actions to take following inflammatory racial comments made by a Rapid City hotel owner at an event called the "Indians Allowed Rally."

RAPID CITY, S.D. — South Dakota tribal leaders met Saturday to discuss actions to take following inflammatory racial comments made by a Rapid City hotel owner at an event called the “Indians Allowed Rally.”

“The Great Sioux Nation hereby condemns the blatant racism that is coming from the owner of the Grand Gateway Hotel and its subsidiaries in Rapid City,” said Scott Herman, the President of the Rosebud Sioux Tribe.
The comments came after a shooting incident that took place at the Grand Gateway Hotel a week ago.
Following the incident, Hotel owner Connie Uhre issued a statement on Facebook, saying: “We will no longer allow any Native Americans on the property or in Cheers Sports Bar.”

Due to the comment, tribal leaders of the Great Sioux Nation say they’re prepared to boycott Rapid City and the hotel.

“In these next coming weeks, we’re going to be meeting and figuring and coming up with ways on how to implement this, so what we say we’re going to be doing,” said Chairman Harold Frazier of the Cheyenne River Sioux Tribe.
They say they’re also in discussion to move events like the Lakota Nation Invitational Basketball Tournament and Black Hills Powwow, which bring in millions of dollars in revenue for Rapid City.
Along with moving events, the leaders presented a notice of trespassing to the hotel, citing two articles in the Treaty of the Sioux in 1868.
Tribal leadership say that the idea is to create change now and to leave impacts for a future generation.
“The Vice Chairwoman of Pine Ridge mentioned that we need to plant seeds,” said Chairman Peter Lengkee of the Crow Creek Sioux Tribe. “She also mentioned that we might not see the shade of those trees, but it’s with the future generations in mind and that’s why we’re doing this.”
Later, across town, a rally was held at Roosevelt Park to voice frustration. That rally was followed by a walk from the park to the Grand Gateway Hotel.
“We’re going to walk in prayer today. We’re going to walk in a good way. We’re going to make sure that we don’t violate anything; that we stick to the parameters of our treaty boundaries and understanding that this is where we’re at and this is who we are,” said President Kevin Killer of the Oglala Lakota Sioux Tribe.

During the peaceful rally, those that participated were escorted by many first responder agencies, including the Rapid City Police Department, the Pennington County Sheriff’s Office and South Dakota Highway Patrol.

Categories: ConnectCenter1-Events, Local News, South Dakota News