March – Native Americans are target of hate crimes committed by juveniles with BB gun and urine. Reported by Andrea Cook for the Rapid City Journal
April – The Society for Advancement of Native Interests – Today (SANI-T) held the first gathering in its forum, Campaign to Unite a Community: a response to Rapid City hate crimes. It became known to the community that Miranda Sheldon and Jenna Gitzke also committed hate crimes against Native Americans. Reported by Evelyn Broecher for Native Sun News in Rapid City.
June – McDonald’s restaurant distributes Custer toys to Native Americans via Happy Meals. Reported by Evelyn Broecher for NSN.
July – Crow Creek Sioux Tribe member, Shawn Hawk boxes on ESPN’s Friday Night Fights. As reported by cyberboxingzone.com Also, visit Raymond Hawk’s website.
A peaceful demonstration in support of the victims of hate crimes was held at the Pennington County Courthouse. People Against Racism (PAR) member, Stacey Low Dog, said “The date planned for the women to change their plea to guilty was to be held the same day as the demonstration. We just found out they pled yesterday, and no one knew about it until this morning.” Jenna Gitzke and Miranda Sheldon pled guilty to committing hate crimes. The women are both 21 year old. Reported by Evelyn Broecher for NSN.
South Dakota’s first hate crime conviction: Miranda Sheldon and Jenna Gitzke sentenced. Reported by Rapid City Journal Staff.
A wine holder depicting an American Indian in full headdress appears all over the country. The distributor and local retailer agree to remove it from shelves. First reported by Vicki Wicks for NSN and later by Evelyn Broecher.
September – Cheyenne River Sioux Tribe member, Carl Dupris, suffers beating and facial disfigurement. Dupris accuses local gas station owner, Dale Lesmeister, of the beating. Reported by Evelyn Broecher for NSN.
October – Rapid City Mayor, Alan Hanks, says Human Relations Commission is ready to help after being dormant for about 15 years. Reported by Evelyn Broecher for NSN. Also, by Andrea Cook for Rapid City Journal.
November – The third gathering of Black Hills Working Group of the Great Plains Tribal Chairman and Chairwoman’s Association was held in Rapid City. In preparation to meet with President Obama, a position paper which includes input from all tribes of the Great Sioux Nation is being drafted. Reported by Evelyn Broecher for NSN.
Long-time child advocate, Kevin Peniska, gets 110 year sentence for two counts of second degree rape [of a child] and one count of aggravated child abuse. Visit this webpage for information on Peniska’s previous advocacy work. Reported by Evelyn Broecher for NSN.
The sacred 1868 Treaty Chanunpa [pipe] was brought out for viewing during the Mahpiya Luta centennial celebration. It will not be viewed by the people again for 100 years. Reported by Evelyn Broecher for NSN.
Oglala Sioux Tribe President, Theresa Two Bulls declared Suicide State of Emergency. OST ambulance reported 17 calls for suicide attempts or completion during November alone. During 2008, the number of suicide/threats was 100. This was widely reported.
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