Native community and Rapid City leaders address racial prejudice and the economy

RAPID CITY, S.D. (KELO) — Rapid City and Native communities are hoping a forum starts up more conversations about racial prejudice. The goal is to shine a light on the impacts indigenous people have in town.

From Lakota Nation Invitational to the Black Hills Powwow and just everyday needs, Native Americans who live in Rapid City or visit from the Reservations make an enormous impact on the region’s economy.

Nearly $360 million are spent each year by Native Americans alone in Rapid City. They account for $14 million in local taxes and $11 million in state taxes.

“And if we lose our Native American brothers and sisters and the power of their dollar, we lose a lot of our economy,” Tom Johnson, CEO of Elevate Rapid City, said.

After racist comments were made by the owners of the Grand Gateway hotel a few weeks ago, the Mniluzahan Okolakiciyapi Ambassadors and the Rapid City Human Relations Commission decided to start a very…

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