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DOJ Sues Grand Gateway for Native American Discrimination


The Division of Justice filed a lawsuit towards two hotel-casino house owners for discriminating towards Native Individuals. [Image: Shutterstock.com]

Like mom, like son

The US Division of Justice (DOJ) has filed a lawsuit towards a South Dakota on line casino just lately accused of discriminating towards Native American guests.

banning Native Individuals from accessing “providers, lodging and privileges”

The swimsuit names Retsel Company and two administrators, Connie Uhre and her son, Nicholas Uhre, in banning Native Individuals from accessing “providers, lodging and privileges” on the Grand Gateway Lodge in Speedy Metropolis, South Dakota. Retsel additionally owns and operates Cheers Sports activities Lounge and On line casino in Speedy Metropolis.

The Grand Gateway beforehand filed a countersuit towards NDN Collective, a Native American activist group that accused the lodge’s house owners of racial discrimination. The Uhres stated members of the group conspired to commit trespassing, defamation, nuisance, and civil conspiracy.

Grand Gateway charged by DOJ 

The DOJ’s submitting says that on March 20, Connie Uhre informed different Speedy Metropolis lodge house owners and managers that she did “not need to enable Natives on property.”

“The issue is we have no idea the great ones from the dangerous Natives,” the DOJ alleges Uhre stated. “So we simply need to say no to them!”

She additionally posted a remark to Fb that stated “we are going to now not enable any Native American [at the Grand Gateway Hotel or Cheers Sports Lounge and Casino]” the identical day. 

NDN Collective says that the Uhres banned Native Individuals from reserving stays on the Grand Gateway after a lethal shootout transpired in one of many rooms. Each the sufferer and shooter had been Native American.

the tragedy of loss of life can’t be met with racist outbursts”

“The Uhres should be held accountable, reminded that they’re on Lakota land, and perceive that the tragedy of loss of life can’t be met with racist outbursts,” stated Sunny Crimson Bear, racial fairness director at NDN Collective.

The Uhres’ countersuit now faces a tricky problem with the federal government’s intervention. Sunny Crimson Bear is happy that the DOJ has gotten concerned and hopes that it’ll have an effect on a nationwide change.

“After a number of months of mobilizing and organizing towards racism right here in our homelands of MniLuzahan (Speedy Metropolis), we’re seeing the end result of a federal investigation we’ve been pushing for,” stated Sunny Crimson Bear. “It’s essential to recollect this isn’t simply in regards to the Grand Gateway Lodge—it’s the tip of the iceberg in the case of discrimination and racism right here.”

Response from Native Individuals

NDN Collective has been calling for a boycott on the Uhres’ properties since Native Individuals had been first denied entry to lodge facilities on March 21 and 22, instantly after Connie Uhre’s damning Fb put up. 

“Insurance policies prohibiting Native Individuals from accessing public institutions are each racially discriminatory and illegal,” stated Assistant Lawyer Basic Kristen Clarke of the DOJ’s Civil Rights Division. “The Justice Division will proceed to vigorously defend the rights of all individuals to go about their every day lives free from discrimination at inns, eating places and different public lodging across the nation.”

NDN is totally behind the DOJ in its pursuit of justice towards the Uhres. Its involvement is precisely what the group hoped for to carry the lodge house owners to justice.

we are able to pressure these operating the authorized system to be accountable to the individuals”

“Right this moment is proof that after we manage and lift our voices within the streets, we are able to pressure these operating the authorized system to be accountable to the individuals,” Nick Tilsen, president and CEO of NDN Collective, stated in an announcement shortly after the DOJ filed its lawsuit. “Our hope is that the DOJ and courts will shut down the Grand Gateway Lodge and Cheers for the house owners’ violation of the civil and inherent rights of Native peoples.

Title II of the 1964 Civil Rights Act says that the DOJ can procure injunctive reduction, which primarily forces the delinquent to commit or cease committing an motion. Nevertheless, the identical rule states that the DOJ can’t “receive financial damages for patrons who’re victims of discrimination.” 

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