Following a shooting at the Grand Gateway Hotel in Rapid City, South Dakota, hotel owner Connie Uhre made public comments on social media stating her intent to ban all Native Americans from the hotel and the attached Cheers Lounge, saying she can’t tell “who is a bad Native or a good Native.” Her words harkened back to a history of colonizers and Indian agents picking and choosing which “Indians” they deemed worthy of their special treatment, while the vast majority of “Indians,” according to them, were unworthy of respect, unworthy of life. It is this very sentiment that lies at the heart of the genocide of Indigenous people and ongoing racial discrimination of Indigenous people worldwide.
Good NDN or Bad NDN? It’s all about how you look at us. If it means appeasing the colonizer, we are proudly “Bad NDNs.” In the eyes of our Ancestors and our People, we ARE the “Good NDNs” –beautiful, powerful, and worthy of joy, worthy of life.
Rising up against the Grand Gateway Hotel’s racism, hundreds of Indigenous people in Rapid City mobilized wearing “Good NDN / Bad NDN” T-shirts, marching to the federal courthouse where NDN Collective filed a federal civil rights lawsuit against the hotel. Learn more about the march and lawsuit here.
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