Great Plains Tribal Chairman's Association
Resolution No. 2-2-20-15 RESOLUTION OF THE GREAT PLAINS TRIBAL CHAIRMAN’S ASSOCIATION

A RESOLUTION OF THE GREAT PLAINS TRIBAL CHAIRMAN’S ASSOCIATION TO CALL UPON THE PRESIDENT AND THE ATTORNEY GENERAL TO CONDUCT AND INVESTIGATION OF INCIDENTS OF RACIAL HARASSMENT, HATE CRIMES AND DISCRIMINATION IN THE USE OF PUBLIC ACCOMMODATIONS ON JANUARY 24, 2015 AGAINST OGLALA SIOUX STUDENTS FROM THE AMERICAN HORSE SCHOOL AT A SPORTING EVENT AT THE

 

WHEREAS, the Great Plains Tribal Chairman’s Association (hereafter GPTCA) is composed of the elected Chairs and Presidents of the federally recognized sovereign Indian Tribes and Nations within the Great Plains Region of the Bureau of Indian Affairs; and

 

WHEREAS, the Great Plains Tribal Chairman’s Association is formed to promote the common interest of the Sovereign Tribes and Nations who are members of the GPTCA; and

 

WHEREAS, the United States has obligated itself to ensure the well-being of sovereign Tribes and Nations of the Great Plains Region both through Treaties and federal statutes, including the Snyder Act of 1921 ad amended, the Indian Self-Determination Act of 1976 as amended, and the Indian Health Care Improvement Act of 1976 as amended, and

 

WHEREAS, the GPTCA recognizes its responsibility to act to advance the goals of the Tribes and their members and to promote improvements to the health, safety welfare, education, economic development and preservation of the spiritual, cultural, and natural resources of its member Tribes and Nations;

 

WHEREAS, the Constitution and laws of the United States of America prohibit discrimination based upon race or nationality;

 

WHEREAS, the 1964 Civil Rights Act Title II protects the Civil Rights of all persons to enjoy public accommodation without discrimination, and specifically provides that

 

“All persons shall be entitled to the full and equal enjoyment of the goods, services, facilities, privileges, advantages, and accommodations of any place of public accommodation, as defined in this section, without discrimination or segregation on the ground of race, color, religion, or national origin.”

 

42 U.S.C. sec. 2000-a:

 

WHEREAS, on January 24, 2015, the Oglala Sioux Tribe’s American Horse School sent its outstanding students up to Rapid City, SD to the Civic Center for the hockey game as a school field trip to congratulate the children on their academic achievement, and the students ranged in age from 9 to 13 years old, with teacher and parent chaperones, and the chaperones brought some younger siblings aged 4 and 7;

 

WHEREAS, as the night went on, three to five grown adult men in the box became inebriated and began to yell racial epithets at the children, “go back to the rez” and “prairie nigger;” later, the men threw beer, threw objects, and one of the young girls had a bruise on her head and another girl’s eyeglasses were broken while some of the kids were thoroughly doused with beer;

 

WHEREAS, after the children, their parents and teachers left the arena, the offenders celebrated with clapping and congratulations and threw beer cans to other members of the audience as part of the celebration;

 

WHEREAS,  state civil rights laws were not invoked, and only one of the offenders was charged and that charge was limited to disorderly conduct;

 

WHEREAS,  the offenders are in our view guilty of hate crimes under 18 U.S.C. sec. 249 because this was all part of an incident where the children, their parents and teachers were subject to racial insults and verbal abuse of a discriminatory racial nature;

 

NOW THEREFORE BE IT RESOLVED that the Great Plains Tribal Chairman’s Association supports and joins in the Oglala Sioux Tribe’s request to President Obama and Attorney General Holder to investigate the racial harassment and assault of the American Horse school students as a violation of public accommodations law and as hate crimes;

 

BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED that the Great Plains Tribal Chairman’s Association calls upon the Governor, Attorney General, and South Dakota Legislature to review state civil rights laws to ensure that, in the future, state law protects all persons, and especially children, in their right to freely use public accommodations, without fear of intimidation or discrimination based upon race;

 

BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED that the Great Plains Tribal Chairman’s Association calls upon the Mayor of Rapid City and the City Council to review the staffing and the policies of the Rapid City Civic Center to ensure that it posts signs warning the public that Public Accommodations are for the enjoyment of all persons and discrimination in the use of public accommodations is prohibited by Federal and state civil rights laws and that racially discriminatory conduct will result in immediate ejectment from the Rapid City Civic Center; and

 

BE IT FINALLY RESOLVED that this Resolution is the Policy of the Great Plains Tribal Chairman’s Association until modified, amended or withdrawn by subsequent resolution.

 

Resolution No. 2-2-20-15

 

CERTIFICATION

 

This resolution was enacted at a duly called meeting of the Great Plains Tribal Chairman's Association held at Rapid City, South Dakota on February 20, 2015 at which a quorum was present, with 8 members voting in favor, 0 members not abstaining, and 8 members not present.

 

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