The owner of the Grand Gateway Hotel in Rapid City, SD was arrested last week after a confrontation with demonstrators from the Native community.
The Rapid City Journal reports Connie Uhre was arrested Friday on three counts of simple assault for allegedly spraying a cleaning product on demonstrators.
The group NDN Collective has been leading picket line boycott events at the hotel three times a week for the last six weeks. The boycott events follow comments Uhre made on social media earlier this spring to ban Native Americans from the hotel.
In a video from NDN Collective of Friday’s event, Uhre appears to approach demonstrators holding a can of Pledge and then sprays a demonstrator.
“You just sprayed me in the face…You sprayed all of us in the face…She’s spaying in the face.”
In the video, Uhre also appears to spray herself with the aerosol can before walking away from the demonstrators.
In a statement, NDN Collective President/CEO Nick Tilsen called Uhre’s behavior racist, violent, disgusting, and illegal. Tilsen says the incident will be added to the federal civil rights discrimination lawsuit filed by the group in March against owners of the hotel.
A federal court last week found that South Dakota failed to provide voter registration services required under federal law. As Aaron Bolton reports, tribes brought the lawsuit saying it disenfranchised Native American voters.
U.S. District Court Judge Lawrence Piersol found that South Dakota Secretary of State Steve Barnett’s office failed to provide proper training to state agencies, like DMVs, that are required to help residents register to vote under the National Voter Registration Act.
The Oglala Sioux Tribe and Rosebud Sioux Tribe, along with tribal members brought the suit, are arguing the noncompliance with the law specifically disenfranchised Indigenous voters, which make up 9% of the population.
The Native American Rights Fund said the ruling removes one more barrier to vote for American Indian people in the state.
A new suspension bridge was dedicated recently near the coastal town of Yachats, OR. As KLCC’s Brian Bull reports, the event also recognized the displacement and genocide of Native Americans in the area.
The 142-foot long bridge replaces one destroyed by a landslide in 2015. It spans a forested grotto which contains a statue of Amanda DeCuis, a Coos Indian forced to give up her daughter and march the craggy shores to the Alsea sub-agency in the 1860s.
Joanne Kittel owns the land with the statue and bridge. For her, this latest piece of the Amanda Trail is the culmination of years of activism and community support. Kittel says she often feels Amanda’s spirit in the grotto.
“Amanda’s around all the time. And many people feel the spiritual connection to her, it’s a very powerful area for a lot people. She is very much a part of everyone who’s worked there, even the construction crew from Redmond who built the bridge ended up feeling her presence.”
Kittel wants people to enjoy the bridge and scenery, but also to reflect on the death and sorrow Native Americans endured during colonization.
The Cowlitz Indian Tribe has announced David Barnett, general council chairman, died unexpectedly over the weekend of an apparent heart attack at his home in Shoreline, WA.
The chairman served as leader of the tribe since he was elected in June 2021.
Following the tribe’s succession plan, Barnett will be succeeded by the vice-chair.
Services are being planned and will be shared with the public forthcoming.
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