Reaction to firing employee for remarks against Natives

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RAPID CITY, S.D. (KOTA-TV) - It is reminiscent of what happened at the Regional Hospital in May, 2015. A nurse was fired for making racist comments on her Facebook page.

Karen Mortimer and Whitney Rencountre, Mniluzahan Okolakiciyapi Ambassadors

Earlier this week the states attorney fired a receptionist for making racist comments. The allegation, made public on Facebook, claims the employee made references to building a wall around the reservation to keep in Native Americans.

An ambassadors group that has spent the last two years trying to improve race relations, is pleased with the swift response.

Karen Mortimer says, “It appears that the states attorney did not find the behavior consistent with the qualities that he wishes for his organization. The Mniluzahan Okolokiciyapi Ambassadors believe we really need to work on modeling respectful behaviors in our community, so this was consistent with that.”

"I believe the swift action that was done really was a step forward for Rapid City. I truly believe that accountability and trust is a process that we want to continue to build," agreed fellow ambassador Whitney Rencountre.

Both encourage others to report discrimination in any form.

"The swiftness of action in this case represents very clear motive for change. We saw this with the hospital a year or so ago and I know this will be received well by the community both Native and non-Native. And the ambassadors support this as well," says Mortimer.

“For us truly to take the steps forward that we want to, we do have to identify that we have some issues, not just in Rapid City, across the nation. However it’s the ones that do the work that really good change happens. And we’re doing the work in Rapid City," said Rencountre.