For Immediate Release: June 16, 2022
Rapid City, SD – In response to recent news that 31 men – including several from Rapid City – planning to riot at a Pride celebration in Idaho were arrested, amidst growing threats of violence and heightened discrimination directed toward the LGBTQ2S+ community during Pride Month, NDN Collective released the following statements.
“June is a time for myself and my queer kin to set aside extra time to gather, celebrate our existence, honor our queer ancestors, and commemorate the sacred lives of those who we have lost due to this nation’s daily violent acts,” said Steph Viera, they/them, Social Media Manager at NDN Collective. “This attempted violence is yet another reminder that queer people are still not safe, and that there are people out there who hate us just for existing and want to claim our spirits.”
“Anti-queer and trans hate is the product of genocide and colonialism – before white settlers arrived and began to wreak havoc on our people, Indigenous communities embraced our LGBTQIA2S+ community members. Now more than ever, Indigenous queer people need our allies to commit to learning our history and join our current fights. We need people to seek to understand and celebrate us, and to protect us from those who wish us harm.”
“This brazen attempt by white supremacists to inflict harm on the Queer community exemplifies the unrelentless and inherently colonial violence embedded in cis-heteronormative ideologies,” said Brandi Douglas, Senior Communications Associate at NDN Collective. “Anti-queer and trans beliefs are what motivated these 31 individuals to seek to intimidate our siblings in Idaho, which is alarming enough – but these beliefs are also being codified into our legal system, with State lawmakers having introduced over 240 anti-LGBTQ bills in 2022 alone.
“Queer people are under relentless attack. We demand accountability for the constant hate speech and misinformation about our people being spewed by conservative politicians, on social media, and published in national news sources. We’re calling on elected officials, media makers, reporters, and education policy leaders to center queer Indigenous voices as we continue trying to decolonize the world to make it safer for everyone.”
NDN Collective is an Indigenous-led organization dedicated to building Indigenous power. Through organizing, activism, philanthropy, grantmaking, capacity-building, and narrative change, we are creating sustainable solutions on Indigenous terms.