Following a shooting at the Grand Gateway Hotel in Rapid City, South Dakota, hotel owner Connie Uhre makes public comments on social media stating her intention to ban all Native Americans from the hotel and adjoining Cheers Lounge, saying she cannot say “who is a bad or a good Native”. His lyrics recalled a story of colonizers and Indian agents picking and choosing which “Indians” they or they deemed worthy of their special treatment, while the vast majority of “Indians”, according to them, were unworthy of respect, unworthy of living. It is this very sentiment that is at the heart of the genocide of Indigenous peoples and the continued racial discrimination of Indigenous peoples around the world.
Good NDN or Bad NDN? It all depends on how you look at us. If it means appeasing the colonizer, we are proudly “bad NDN”. In the eyes of our Ancestors and our People, we ARE the “Good NDN” – beautiful, powerful and worthy of joy, worthy of life.
Rising against racism from the Grand Gateway Hotel, hundreds of Rapid City Natives rallied wearing “Good NDN / Bad NDN” t-shirts, marching to the federal courthouse where NDN Collective filed a federal lawsuit civil rights case against the hotel. Learn more about the march and the trial here.