Footage of a protest in Rapid City, South Dakota, after a woman banned Native American guests from her hotel is quickly going viral on TikTok.
An Oglala Lakota member named Eleanor Ferguson, or @lilnativething, posted footage of a protest on TikTok on Thursday where he received 1.4 million views and nearly 12,000 comments, with many calling the ban a violation major human rights as well as racial discrimination.
“Last week, a hotel decided to ban Native Americans in Rapid City, South Dakota,” reads video of hundreds of protesters on the streets.
Grand Gateway Hotel owner Connie Uhre, 76, posted on Facebook on March 20 that due to a recent murder in which the two people involved were Native Americans, her hotel “no longer allows any Native American on the property.”
Uhre mentioned that the ban will exist for the on-site karaoke bar and also offered a “special rate” for non-native travelers.
Residents were quick to react to Uhre’s decision, with many saying it’s illegal to discriminate against guests based on their race and that his ban went directly against the Fort Laramie Treaty of 1868.
The treaty between the United States government and the Dakota, Lakota, Nakota, and Arapaho established the Black Hills and various tracts of land in the western half of South Dakota as Indian Territory, including what is now Rapid City.
In the now-viral video taken on March 26, Ferguson explained that Uhre claimed they couldn’t “tell the difference between a ‘good native’ and a ‘bad native’, so they decided to ban ALL natives. of their business.”
Video showed hundreds of protesters waving flags and carrying posters as they marched to the Grand Gateway Hotel to serve a treaty eviction notice.
“Tribal leaders, spiritual leaders and warriors of the Lakota, Nakota, Dakota have come together to serve an eviction notice to the owners of the hotel,” reads the screen. “The Lakota, Nakota and Dakota must constantly fight for basic human rights in their own ancestral territory without national attention.”
A cease and desist order was also left at the hotel by Oceti Sakowin leaders as protesters gathered outside.
“Please review the Fort Laramie Treaty of 1868 and how our lands were illegally taken from us! South Dakota does not want people to know this information,” Ferguson wrote in the comments.
Rapid City Mayor Steve Allender quickly responded to Uhre’s statements via Twitter, condemning her for her hotel ban and for blaming the mayor, police chief and sheriff, among other public entities, as well. than all Native Americans for the shooting on his property.
“Neither the shooting nor Grand Gateway’s response reflect our community values,” he wrote.
On March 23, the NDN Collective, an Indigenous-led organization based in Rapid City, filed a lawsuit against Uhre, her son, and the hotel for “explicit racial discrimination.”
Newsweek contacted Connie Uhre but did not receive a comment in time for publication.
This isn’t the only time the mistreatment of a Native American has made headlines.
Elementary students are accused of forcibly cutting the hair of a Native American boy in class.
And a Native American community in Minnesota is outraged by a conversation on social media between high school students who allegedly exchanged racist comments and threats toward their Native classmates.
Late last year, President Joe Biden signed an executive order aimed at combating human trafficking and crime on Indigenous lands.
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