Levi Rickert, editor-in-chief in Native Challenges. Discussion »
RAPID CITY, SOUTH DAKOTA Last summer, Vern Traversie, a tribal citizen of the Cheyenne River Sioux Tribe of South Dakota, went to the Rapid City Regional Hospital for heart surgery, but a graphic photograph taken by a nurse upon his return home indicates the procedures went far beyond normal medical care.
Dennis Banks, Echo Whirlwind Soldier and Cody Hall planning
the rally and march in Eagle Butte
The pictures show three distinctive Ks - or KKK - on his abdomen.
Law enforcement and medical personnel have yet to satisfy Traversie and others with any follow up action against the hospital's staff. They maintain no one did anything wrong to Traversie.
Traversie maintained he is a victim of a hate crime.
On Monday, there will be a rally and march in Rapid City to protest such treatment of Traversie. Organizers are asking people to meet at the Memorial Park in Rapid City for the rally at the band stage. Memorial Park is located north of Omaha Street near the Rushmore Plaza Civic Center.
Dennis Banks, Ojibwe, a co-founder of the American Indian Movement, will be a keynote speaker at the rally which seeks to highlight abuses sustained by American Indians at the Rapid City Regional Hospital.
“I hear about things happening to American Indians all the time. We kind of just live with it. But this time I decided that something needed to be done,”
stated Cody Hall, Cheyenne River Sioux, one of the organizers of Monday's protest activities.
“This treatment touches to the core of who I am, especially with an elder.”
“This is just horrible what was done to Traversie,”
“We will be there with caravans from different tribes from various South Dakota represented.”
Since the story was put on the internet, he has heard from people as far away as Germany, who are upset about this story.
Banks has been in South Dakota since Wednesday. He has stopped at Eagle Butte to discuss the Traverie's situation with people there and invite them to the Monday's rally and march. On Friday night, there was a similar meeting in Pine Ridge.
“We are asking anyone from all tribes who were mistreated by the Rapid City Regional Hospital to come forward introduce yourself and briefly describe your mistreatment,”
“Vern has always stated that he wasn't the only one mistreated at that hospital and has asked those of you who have been mistreated or discriminated upon to come forward.”
WHAT: Vern Traversie Justice Rally & March
WHO: Dennis Banks
WHEN: Monday, May 21, 11:00 am mdt
WHERE: Memorial Park in Rapid City
Band Stage near Rapid City Ice Arena
WHAT: March to Rapid City Regional Hospital
WHEN: Monday, May 21, 1:00 pm mdt
WHERE: Starts at Memorial Park
Ends at Rapid City Regional Hospital
353 Fairmont Boulevard
Rapid City, South Dakota 57701
posted May 19, 2012 7:50 am edt
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