Rapid City's Native American community comes together for growth - KOTA Territory News

Rapid City's Native American community gathered for economic growth


Rapid City's Native American community members gathered Saturday to discuss education, employment, health care and housing. 

Dee Schumacher is an Oglala Sioux Tribe member who has lived in Rapid City for many years. She says that the school, the housing and jobs are top priorities.  She says employers aren't looking to hire Native Americans.  "They are always saying you don't have the right training, you don't  have the right schooling or your not qualified for this or that. And the people get tired of the same old run around,"  said Schumacher.

Dr. Art Zimiga, a consultant for the Oglala Sioux Tribe, says that more education and work opportunities are what will help promote economic growth.   "We know how to be good employees, so the other part of that is we need to be good employers," said Zimiga. "What we want to develop is pathways of cooperation and growth sustainable growth for the Native American communities in the Black Hills area." 

Zimiga says that growth begins with a level playing field.  "We need to look at equality, we're not having equality for Native Americans here in Rapid City," said Zimiga.

Sharon Richards, Rapid City resident, says that they have not reached equality yet. "For our children and grandchildren we've learned to protect them and look after our rights and I think there's a lot of strides being made but there's still subtle racism in Rapid City," said Richards. 

Whether it is an economic, educational or racial divide, Schumacher says  the solution can be found in the community.  "We need to come together as a community," said Schumacher.


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