Connie Uhre arrested for simple assault
By Joseph Budd
Native Sun News Today Staff Writer
Proprietor Connie Uhre, arrived at her Grand Gateway Hotel noticeably irritated, and resorted to spraying NDN Collective protestors with a can of Pledge. After the demonstration and video evidence was reviewed, Uhre was arrested Friday afternoon and charged with three counts of simple assault.
Video captured Uhre calling the Pledge “bug spray”, and then spraying one protestor in the face. A protestor told her, “Maybe one day you’ll love our people.” Uhre can be heard saying, “I do love your people — not the bad ones.”
Uhre had originally stoked racial feelings when she declared in a deleted March 24 Facebook comment the Grand Gateway would no longer serve any Indians at the Uhre family owned hotel and bar. Her actions, as well others of the family, spurred NDN Collective to bring up a Federal lawsuit against the company that runs the hotel and bar, and the Uhre family.
One of the protestors listed in the lawsuit was Sunny Red Bear, the racial equity director for the NDN Collective. Red Bear said, “This is what we mean when we say that white supremacy is violent, no matter how long they lie dormant, peoples’ racist worldviews eventually come out in their actions.”
Red Bear added she hopes people will begin to understand and believe when people say how dangerous and real racism is.
Nick Tilsen, the president and CEO of NDN Collective did state that Uhre’s behavior was not only racist, violent and disgusting, but also illegal. He said the incident will be added to the federal civil rights lawsuit the collective filed in March. “We now call upon the Department of Justice,” Tilsen said, “to intervene and hold Connie Uhre and the Grand Gateway Hotel accountable for these racist and illegal acts against our people. It requires aggressive action to dismantle white supremacy. Everybody in this community should be outraged.”