Tribes condemn hotel owner’s comment that Native Americans not allowed on property after shooting

RAPID CITY, SD (KEVN/Gray News) – Native American tribes in South Dakota came together on Saturday to condemn racist comments made by the owner of a hotel and sports bar in Rapid City.

The comments were made by Connie Uhre, one of the owners of the Grand Gateway Hotel. In a since-deleted social media post, she said they were banning Native Americans, according to KEVN.

“We will no longer allow any Native Americans on the property,” she posted on March 20.

These comments were made after a shooting in one of the hotel rooms, which left one person seriously injured. Police arrested Quincy Bear Robe, 19, and charged him with aggravated assault.

A class action lawsuit was filed Wednesday by the Native-led organization NDN Collective for alleged discrimination against the Native American population.

The lawsuit also alleged that the hotel employed armed guards in the lobby to intimidate potential Native guests. The hotel allegedly claimed that it did not rent to locals.

A representative from NDN Collective said she tried to check into the hotel but was turned down.

The lawsuit alleges that the complaint was a pretext used to discriminate against the representative and that other NDN members faced a hostile official when they also attempted to register.

“The Great Sioux Nation hereby condemns the egregious racism that emanates from the owner of the Grand Gateway Hotel and its affiliates in Rapid City,” said Scott Herman, chairman of the Rosebud Sioux Tribe.

Nick Uhre, Connie Uhre’s son and hotel manager, said in a statement to KOTA that there is no policy prohibiting Native Americans, and they are welcome.

“We’re tired of this b——-,” said Kevin Killer, president of the Oglala Lakota Sioux Tribe. “Honestly, we are. I’m profiled almost every day; I know that. Just take a stand at some point. »

Five tribal chiefs have signed a trespassing notice. They said the hotel violated the terms of a treaty made with the Sioux in 1868 based on the hotel’s location, and the racist comments violate Article 1 of the treaty.

“That’s who we are as descendants of the 1851 and 1868 treaties,” Killer said.

Herman says they served the trespass notice on Saturday and are ordering the hotel and its affiliates to vacate the premises or face liability.

The Great Sioux Nation has said it is ready to take the necessary steps to end racism on treaty land indefinitely.

These actions include boycotting Rapid City, pressuring the city council to revoke business licenses, and filing hate crime charges against the hotel owner, among other actions.

“A lot has happened here in the last few days and a lot more to come,” said Crow Creek Sioux Tribe President Peter Lengkee. “We do this with future generations in mind.”

Harold C. Frazier, president of the Cheyenne-River Sioux Tribe, said people should start treating Native Americans with respect and dignity.

“Just treat us like humans and I think that would go a long way,” he said.

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Nohemi M. Moore