Statement of Vern Traversie in wake of jury denying his claims‏

A jury in the U.S. District Court of South Dakota has ruled against Vern Traversie, the 71-year-old Cheyenne River Sioux man, who brought suit over civil rights violations that he endured while a patient in the Rapid City Regional Hospital in 2011.

Vern Traversie’s statement:

“I thank the jurors and the Court for giving me my day in court. For me this is a victory in itself.  I shared my story about what happened to me while I was a patient at the Rapid City Regional Hospital for one reason: to make sure that no other American Indian is treated in an uncaring way.

I believe because I stood up for justice, powerful institutions in Rapid City have learned that American Indians have a voice and we are not afraid to call for justice.

You need to understand this, mine is just one case in the fight for civil rights for American Indians in South Dakota. It is one part of the long standing struggle for the dignity and respect that American Indian men, women, and children in South Dakota deserve, just like anybody else.  We are asking for nothing more than what most people take for granted: human rights.

Today I thank everyone who supported me in this fight for justice, and I thank my God that I am alive to do what I can for my people.”

Original Story on the case, ‘Lakota Man Accuses Hospital of Healthcare Hate Crime’



All through my life …from age 6-16… I was the kind of child that created loyal circles of friends around him, but for some reason I was always a bit of a fanatic when it came to this word ‘loyalty’, at least compared to my friends, don’t get me wrong, my school pals (of ALL races) exhibited a great degree of loyalty to me – just as I exhibited to them, we pranked together, we plotted ‘organised mischief’ together, and we got bloody fists and faces fighting together against other groups of boys, but the one thing we NEVER did – is snitch on each other (some of us got multiple detentions, corporal punishments, even suspensions from school – but we never ratted out each other) …..and we NEVER forgot that our friendship meant more to us at this time in our lives than anything else.


There finally finished these #4_sacred_colour #dreamcatcher #earrings with metal #feathers I think that they turned out very very well, some of my best lacing of the #dreamcatcher webbing. #ndn #native #nativeart #native_crafts #aboriginal #indigenous #handmade #fashion #jewelry #jewellery #genuine_native #no_appropriation #nofiltre

"Opposition to the coal trains, coal export terminals and the oil trains carrying both tar sands and Bakken crude has run strong in the Northwest region. Concerns over public safety, environmental quality, fisheries, treaty rights and climate change has led to a strong coalition between tribal and non-tribal communities."

~Battle for Mother Earth Goes West by Matt Remle


On behalf of International Women’s Day I have to give a shout out to Sydney Freeland, Transgender Navajo (Dine’) writer/director. She is behind the short “Hoverboard” as well as the feature “Drunktown’s Finest”. Drunktown’s Finest has 36 speaking roles, 32 of which are filled by Indigenous actors. Additionally, women of color in film make up less than 1% of directors - what Sydney has done is amazing.