Photo courtesy Pamela Stillman-Rokusek, Rapid City Regional Health Center
Mick Gibbs, President of Rapid City Regional Hospital, center, leads the community unity walk with Horace Wounded Arrow, right.

Hundreds Rally Against Racism Outside Hospital in Rapid City

Sheena Louise Roetman
5/19/15

At least 300 people rallied outside a hospital in Rapid City, South Dakota last week after a nurse there was caught on video making disparaging remarks about Native Americans.

The nurse, allegedly Ryane Oliva, was fired by the Rapid City Regional Hospital after she sent racially charged Snapchat messages to minors and was taped cussing out Native Americans.

Cody Hall addresses about 300 people who turned out May 12, in the parking lot of Rapid City Regional Hospital, for a gathering of community solidarity. Photo courtesy Pamela Stillman-Rokusek.

“The [expletive] Indians can suck a mother [expletive] fart out of my [expletive] ass because the [expletive] Indians, they suck,” Oliva said in the video.

RELATED: VIDEO: Woman Posts Profane Anti-Native Rant; Gets Fired

Cody Hall, a local activist, planned the May 12 gathering to demonstrate the power and solidarity of the community.

“Monday morning, the CEO of the hospital [Brent Phillips] called me up to tell me [Oliva] had been dismissed,” Hall said. “I was shocked by the progressiveness of the conversation. He asked me to please keep the rally going.”

Hall said he is usually blown off by elected and appointed officials when he tries to bring to light Native issues.

“He [Phillips] isn’t afraid of the heat he might get for this – that’s leadership at its best. It was amazing,” Hall said.

“This rally was to empower the people – it brought together both Natives and non-Natives,” Hall said. “People took the initiative to take a stand against something they saw that was wrong in their community. I just have to give credit to the people.”

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