Summer 2022

We are learning to appreciate other cultures, to understand how past actions have affected other cultures, particularly the Native American community. We know there are tensions in our community stemming from the pandemic, from increased crime and drugs in our community; but we must take care in how we address these issues. We are learning how to communicate with each other. How to live in the beautiful Black Hills together. How to be better

Welcome to the HRC/MOA’s summer newsletter. Above is an excerpt from an op-ed that we published in the Rapid City Journal on March 25th. When we know better, we do better. That’s an adage that the ambassadors of the HRC/MOA live by. Looking at these last three months, you can see how we relied on a pursuit of knowledge to bring us to do more, do better, and build bridges in our community. Here’s what the HRC/MOA accomplished spring 2022:

March

We held a retreat for the HRC/MOA commissioners to set goals and develop a strategic plan for the rest of 2022.

Later in March, we came together and wrote that op-ed for the Rapid City Journal to share hope and a desire to do better in the wake of the Grand Gateway incident.

April

On April 25th, following our op-ed, we invited the community to a forum to discuss racial prejudice and our economy. The panelists included officials from Elevate Rapid City, Lakota Nation Invitational, Black Hills Pow Wow, NDN Collective, Rapid City Common Council and the RC Youth City Council. 

HRC/MOA and the City of Rapid City partnered to take a trip to Pineridge to learn and strengthen relationships.  Community leaders spent time with our brothers and sisters from the reservation. We learned how we can better support each other and began open communication between our communities.  We hope to bring more of you out there in the near future. 

We held a “Cultural Impact Panel” at the request of a local business to address racial tensions between two employees. This panel was an opportunity to listen, learn and understand the impact of discrimination. It was a chance to discover how words and actions can impact others.

In late April, Delaney Apple led a Community Healing event to strengthen community kinships and to heal. Our resources helped to support this event which included horses, tipis and a fire as a part of a weekend retreat of hope, healing and community building in North Rapid City.

MAY

On May 19th, we supported a community led celebration of Indigenous students in a “Celebrating Our Children” Wacipi. This event was a community collaboration to celebrate our Native Americans students successfully completing another school year.

“The more YOU know the better WE do.” The HRC/MOA hosted another forum on May 23rd, including the candidates for the upcoming Rapid City Board of Education election. This forum was moderated by the Youth City Council and HRC/MOA. The topic was “The Impact of Public Education on our Community.” Our hope is that the more we can equip the community with knowledge, the better we can do together.

UPCOMING

Please join us as the HRC/MOA partners with the Black Hills Playhouse and SDPB to present a discussion about “The Mountaintop,” and how the arts can provide a safe space to have difficult conversations. This discussion will be hosted by SDPB’s Megan Feighry and will be on June 6th at 6:30PM at the SDPB Black Hills Studio, 415 Main Street, Rapid City. If you are interested in attending this conversation, please email: karen@moarapidcity.org.

Be on the lookout for the new HRC/MOA website. This site will feature a streamlined citizen complaint system, news, donor info, and more.

We’ll keep you informed about upcoming Learning Forums. These events have been a consistent success at engaging our community on important topics.

We also stepped up to sponsor a mural along with the RCPD that allowed local youth to create art in a way that we hope inspires future trust. This mural is an on-going summer project for the youth involved.