Press Release

April 18, 2022: ICHRRF exhorts state and federal governments to strictly observe treaty obligations vis-à-vis sovereign Native American nations

The ICHRRF is a non-profit organization founded on the principles of universal brotherhood, compassion and respect for human rights and religious freedoms. The ICHRRF believes in leading by example to spread education and awareness on the importance of these critical values in connecting humanity and assisting communities in achieving their maximum quality-of-life potential.

The ICHRRF is deeply anguished and disheartened to learn about the blatant racial discrimination of Sioux Nation peoples. The Black Hills of South Dakota have been inhabited by Indigenous people for thousands of years, but last month the owner of a hotel in Rapid City, located on the eastern edge of the mountain range, said Native people were no longer welcome. The ICHRRF condemns Grand Gateway Hotel owner Connie Uhre for not only refusing to serve members of the Sioux Nation but also allegedly offering discounted special rates to ranchers and other travelers. It is all the more serious because the hotel is located on the sovereign Native American lands protected by treaty obligations of the US Government. The hotel was in violation of the Treaty of Fort Laramie, also called the Sioux Treaty of 1868, which established that the land of the Black Hills belonged to the Sioux people.

Unfortunately, this behavior is similar to outdated and illegal segregation practices in the US and it is not the first time in recent years people of color and specially Native Americans were subjected to discriminatory practices at hotels. Hotels that serve the general public may be subjected to state and federal laws, including laws prohibiting discrimination. The commission urges other human rights organizations to speak out against this discrimination and stands with the sovereign Sioux Nation and all other sovereign Native Nations in the US in asserting fair, equitable and humane treatment. The commission also exhorts the state and the federal governments in the US to strictly observe the treaty obligations with vis-à-vis the native lands and protect the land ownership rights of the native American people.