Native American tribal leaders in South Dakota say a hotel enters their grounds after the hotel’s owner wrote a racist emblem banning Native Americans from establishing it.
In a Facebook post that has now been deleted, Connie Uhre, owner of the Grand Gateway Hotel in Rapid City, wrote that she would not allow Native Americans to enter the hotel after a shooting took place there, citing to vandalism and “Natives killing civilians.”
“[Due] to the murder that took place at the Grand Gateway Hotel on March 19, 2022 at 4am plus all the vandalism we have had since the mayor and police department work with the non-profit organization (Dark Money). We will no longer allow any Native Americans on property, ”Uhre wrote, adding that she would also ban Native Americans from the sports bar inside the hotel.
It is unclear to which “dark money” organization Uhre referred, and local reports indicate that the shooting victim was still alive after the shooting.
Rapid City Mayor Steve Allender commented on Uhre’s comments Twitter.
Local station KNBN reported that the hotel did not actually implement the policy that Uhre shared on Facebook, referring to her son, who runs the hotel.
But the NDN Collective, an organization that works to protect the rights of indigenous people, says it has obtained audio recordings of hotel staff members refusing to rent hotel rooms to the group’s members. The collective is now filing a federal class action lawsuit against the hotel.
Meanwhile, tribal leaders issued a Notice To Trespass order to the hotel over the weekend, referring to the hotel for violating the provisions of the “Treaty of the Sioux, April 29, 1868”.
The treaty stipulates that “no white person or persons shall be permitted to settle on or any part of the [land north of the North Platte River or east of the summits of the Big Horn Mountains]; or without the permission of the Indians first had and obtained, to go through the same. ”
The Great Sioux Nation instructs the Grand Gateway Hotel to evacuate immediately.
“You are further informed that the Greater Sioux Nation, in order to prevent further trespass of the said land, … may take possession, destroy or remove the said property at your expense,” the order reads.
Scott Herman, president of the Rosebud Sioux tribe, along with other tribe members said they were highly offended by Uhre’s remarks and behavior.
“The Great Sioux Nation is hereby condemning the blatant racism coming from the owner of the Grand Gateway Hotel and its subsidiaries in Rapid City,” Herman told Dakota News Now.
The Great Sioux Nation has said it will take further steps to end any racism in treaty countries, including by boycotting Rapid City, urging the city council to end business licenses with racist organizations and filing hate crime charges against Uhre, Dakota said. News Now reported.
On Sunday, the hotel said it was “temporarily closed.”