A South Dakota hotel that racially profiled Native American guests, specifically banning them from visiting the property, not only appears to have done more business than expected, but has also sparked a lawsuit.
On Sunday, Connie Uhre, owner of the Grand Gateway Hotel in Rapid City, wrote in a since-deleted Facebook post, “Due to the murder that took place at the Grand Gateway Hotel on March 19, 2022…we will no longer be allowing any Native Americans on the property,” according to a tweet shared Monday by Steve Allender, Mayor of Rapid City.
the Quick Town Diary reported Uhre added that she could not say “who is a bad native or a good native.”
In response, the NDN Collective, a Native American organization in South Dakota, on Wednesday filed a lawsuit against the hotel, its parent company, Uhre, and his son Nick Uhre, a hotel manager, for “racial discrimination explicit”. ”
According to Quick Town Diary, Nick Tilsen, President and CEO of NDN Collective said during a protest march: “We will hold them accountable.”
The hotel room shooting at Grand Gateway on Saturday left a man critically injured, fast city police noted. Quincy Bear Robe, 19, was arrested on multiple counts, the Quick Town Diary reported.
Uhre, on the other hand, offered a special rate for travelers and non-native ranchers. She also blamed the mayor and the city’s police department for a supposed increase in crime.
After Uhre said Native Americans would be banned from the hotel, Tilson said a few members of the NDN Collective tried to visitthe Quick Town Diary reported. A person was refused a room reservation. Another person was also banned from booking multiple rooms and kicked out of the hotel lobby.
Former Lakota Tim Giago, editor of The news from the native sun in Rapid City, said ironically many Native Americans stay at the Grand Gateway Hotel when they come to Rapid City.
“I saw [the post] and I thought, ‘This is kind of a stupid thing to post on the Internet.’ This place has had Native American customers for the last 50 years or however long it’s been there,” Giago told The Daily Beast. “This is one of the places many Native Americans stay when they come for basketball tournaments or conventions.”
Cheyenne River Sioux Tribe President Harold C. Frazier told The Daily Beast he was outraged by Uhre’s blatant racism and discrimination and demanded an “immediate apology.”
“This type of behavior will no longer be tolerated today. Not so long ago, an Indian was murdered when he was shot at close range in a bar in that very town. You haven’t heard us condemn a whole race of people, so don’t condemn our people,” he said, referring to the shooting death of dallas fast bear in February.
“When these wagons started their way to break treaties and settle in our territory, we were classified as inferior beings and the genocide was justified as such. The words spoken by this person remind my people that this is always the case: No Indians are allowed,” he added. “To those who will try to walk away from these words and thoughts to save face and business, I tell you that it is unfair to generalize.”
The Rapid City mayor also took Uhre to task.
“In addition to blaming the mayor, the police chief, the sheriff, the sheriff’s candidate and the justice system, a local hotel is banning all Native Americans for shooting a few days ago on the property of the ‘hotel”, Allender tweeted as well as screenshots of Uhre’s Facebook posts. “Neither the shooting nor Grand Gateway’s response reflect our community values.”
In a statement to Quick Town Diary, Allender explained why he shared the post. “I just felt like I couldn’t stay silent and pretend it was just a harmless vent of frustration,” he said. “This is an attack not only on the 12% of Rapid Citians who are Native American, but also on the largest Native American population nationally.”
Nor were social media users buying what Uhre was selling.
“Close this business forever. This family should never own a business in this city or state,” Sarah Anne wrote on the Grand Gateway Hotel Facebook page.
“They have bed bugs” Matagi I’atala commented under an ad that marketed dining options at the hotel.
“Cockroaches live here,” Arlene Marie added.
On another post on the hotel page which advertised “comfort and peaceas his priority, commented Lauren Levinson, “only white supremacists.”
In a Facebook advertisement for the hotel which boasted of providing a place for a “peaceful stayCeleste Viau-Navetta replied, “Your unprofessional and wicked policies will reap untold consequences.
Nick Uhre said South Dakota Public Broadcasting that a ban on Native Americans staying on his family’s property would not go into effect.
Allender, a retired police chief and a Republican in his third term, told The Daily Beast there was nothing the city could do to impose penalties or otherwise punish the hotel or its owners.
“The hotel owner made the statement, a hotel manager may have made similar statements, but there is no evidence that they actually imposed a ban on Native Americans,” he said. he declares.
Before a meeting with tribal leaders, he said that Uhre’s comments could ultimately hurt the city.
Giago said the owner’s comments were like cutting their own throats, as many locals will now avoid the Great Gate.
“I think a lot of them probably won’t,” Giago said. “No one wants to go where they are not welcome.”