Native Americans not welcome at this South Dakota hotel because of shooting, owner says Otesanya David March 22, 2022

Native Americans not welcome at this South Dakota hotel because of shooting, owner says

Native Americans not welcome at this South Dakota hotel because of shooting, owner says


The owner of a South Dakota hotel has called for a ban of Native Americans after some were involved in a shooting at her business.

But Steve Allender, the mayor of Rapid City in western South Dakota, said prohibiting Native Americans would be illegal.

Comments from Connie Uhre, the owner of the Grand Gateway Hotel, come after a shooting there around 4:30 a.m. on Saturday, March 19. A gun was fired in a hotel room, and one man was found with life-threatening injuries, Rapid City Police said.

Quincy Bear Robe, 19, was arrested on multiple charges following the shooting, according to police. Uhre said the victim was killed, but that has not been confirmed.

“Due to the killing that took place at the Grand Gateway Hotel … we will no longer allow any Native American on property or in Cheers Sports Bar. Natives killing natives,” Uhre said in a tweet, which Allender shared on Twitter.

She also said she cannot tell “who is a bad Native or a good Native,” the Rapid City Journal reported.

Allender condemned Uhre’s remarks, saying they do not “reflect our community values.”

“The local government has no authority to sanction this business although discrimination based solely upon race is completely unlawful in addition to being wrong and heartless,” Allender told the Rapid City Journal. “This is a much larger issue that they’ll have to defend to someone else, not me.”

But Nick Uhre, who is the son of the owner and the manager of the hotel, said a ban of Native Americans will not be in place, he told a South Dakota Public Broadcasting reporter.

“Nick says he and the company do not share his mother’s views,” Arielle Zionts reported. “He says (the) company has many Native American employees + guests.”

Under Title II of Civil Rights Act of 1964, “a place of public accommodation” cannot discriminate based on race, color, religion or national origin.

The comments from the hotel owner have drawn scorn from politicians and individuals on social media. RedDawn Foster, who serves in the South Dakota Senate, thanked Allender for “denouncing this blatant racism and ignorance.”

“It is unfortunate that the ‘No Indians Allowed’ sentiments still exist,” she said. “Banning all Native Americans is not only federally illegal, but morally reprehensible by all people who value human dignity.”

“That racism this blatant and this abhorrent is still happening, and seemingly increasing, today should be called out by not just the Indigenous Peoples, white advocates, and the SD POLITICIANS!” one woman said on Twitter.

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