South Dakota Hotel Apologizes After Ban on Native Americans

Co-owner has stepped down from management after public dispute
By Newser Editors,  Newser Staff
Posted Dec 20, 2023 4:02 PM CST
South Dakota Hotel Apologizes After Ban on Native Americans
Stock image   (Getty / BrianAJackson)

A South Dakota hotel is apologizing after one of its owners attempted to ban Native Americans from the premises, reports the South Dakota Standard. The public apology from the Grand Gateway Hotel in Rapid City is part of the settlement of a discrimination lawsuit brought by the Department of Justice, per South Dakota Public Broadcasting. It comes more than a year after co-owner Connie Uhre wrote an email to local hotel owners after a shooting in which she said, "I really do not want to allow Natives on property," adding, "The problem is we do not know the nice ones from the bad natives," per the Washington Post.

Uhre then wrote on social media that Native Americans were no longer allowed to enter her hotel. "We will no long(er) allow any Native American(s) on (our) property," Uhre wrote, per the AP. Under the settlement, Uher cannot serve as an officer or director of the hotel parent company Retsel Corp. "We deeply regret the pain or harm Ms. Uhre's statements have caused within our Native American community," reads the company's apology. "We want to make clear that we welcome all Native Americans to the Grand Gateway Hotel." The establishment still faces at least one other discrimination lawsuit in regard to its treatment of Native Americans. (More Native Americans stories.)

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