Vern Traversie

Vern Traversie’s Case Draws Attorney General’s Attention


In a new blog post by, Vern Traversie the blind and elderly Lakota elder who alleges he was a victim of branding while in the care of the Rapid City Regional Hospital for open-heart surgery is finally being heard.

According to the blog, Marty Jackley, South Dakota Attorney General, spoke with the Cheyenne River Sioux Tribal Council and took evidence from them on June 6. Indian Country Today Media Network has confirmed that the Federal Bureau of Investigation, the South Dakota Attorney General's office, and Health and Human Services have commenced an investigation into the alleged attacks.

Traversie who’s story about the alleged abuse broke two months ago has been requesting legal help ever since local authorities and a Rapid City lawyer failed to follow through with an investigation.

The meeting comes two weeks after a march of nearly 700 protestors from Native communities across the United States embarked on the streets of Rapid City, South Dakota with their final destination being the RCRH, as ICTMN reported May 22.

At the time Cody Hall, a Cheyenne River tribal member and friend of Traversie’s said, “We have organized to send a message for once and for all that we are not going to stand for anymore hate crimes or racial violence in this region. It doesn’t matter where you are from; once you get to Rapid, when an Indian steps out of their car, they are labeled a target.”

On the same day as the march, Traversie and Rodney Bordeaux, president of the Rosebud Sioux Tribe, released statements calling for a criminal investigation into the alleged attacks.

“Regardless of whether his scars are the result of a deliberate hate crime, Mr. Traversie has suffered anguish and pain that he should never have had to bear as either an honored Cheyenne River elder or as an American citizen,” Bordeaux said.

Related Articles:

Vern Traversie and the Worst Place to Be an Indian

Yakama Nation Statement Against the ‘KKK’ Hate Crime Upon a Lakota Elder

Indian Country Rallies Behind Vern Traversie

Was Lakota Man Victim of a Hate Crime in South Dakota Hospital? The Troubling Story of Vern Traversie

Watch Traversie’s video reaching out for legal help that started it all:

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quinzy's picture
Submitted by quinzy on
Be careful - this case may have been "manufactured." Someone working for the Feds may have told Vern that he was branded when they knew he wasn't and worked to raise an uproar among Indians. Then they will miraculously produce evidence that "proves" he wasn't branded. Their basic objective may be to discredit, disorient and demoralize skins, the Indian media and Indian organizations/nations. Our Feds have entire agencies and teams that specialize in these kinds of things.

curtj's picture
Submitted by curtj on
The Federal gov't is geared to finish stealing the Indigenous resoruces and lands. Legalized corruption, graft, conflict of interest and collusion from the United States Supreme Court on down has permeated all three branches of the government. Any investigations in corruption are derailed, stifled or manipulated in a way to point fingers at low level bureaucrats and to shield the politicians and imbedded and burrowed operatives emplaced by the transglobal and multi national conglomerates and monopolies. Look at every terrorist attack against the U.S. Every single terrorist attack was and is in response to the policies of theft and murder that the policies of colonialism entails, by people affected and incensed at the policies of theft and murder while they are subjected to intimidation, rape, kidnappings and murder at the hands of propped up 2 bit dictatorships and their puppet regimes.

karyleggertkuykendall's picture
Submitted by karyleggertkuyk... on
What is wrong with this society that different races are treated with such disrespect. What has happened to Mr. Traversie is a travesty. and the hospital should be brought up on charges for harboring a criminal. My husband had open heart surgery, and I will tell you now the tape for the drainage tube hardly left a mark when they removed the tube. The marks on Mr Traversie abdomen, is not from nor even remotely made from anything done from normal surgery process or after care. My question is why did the staff of this hospital call the police when the first nurse saw these wounds. What kind of hospital would try to cover this up. Whoever did this should be hung in public!!!

joewade's picture
Submitted by joewade on
Quinzy, are saying the FBI told Vern he would have life time KKK scars because he was carved ?