Indian reservation

Pine Ridge Indian Reservation signs racially vandalized: PHOTOS

Three signs welcoming motorists on the Pine Ridge Indian Reservation near Kadoka, South Dakota were recently covered with spray-painted messages containing profanity, racist images and attacks on President Joe Biden.

According to KOTA News, the vandalized billboards can be found along Highway 73, a common route taken by motorists passing through the reserve.

When not demeaned by racist hatred, the signs greet the drivers of the Oglala Lakota Nation.

We read :

“You are entering the land of the red cloud … the Pine Ridge Indian Reservation … the home of the Oglala Sioux tribe.” “

That same sign was covered with a swastika symbol and the words “F’KKK Biden”, which were written using the letter “K” enough times to nod to the white supremacist organization on Ku Klux Klan which is commonly abbreviated as “KKK.”

Pine Ridge resident Marina Bettelyoun took photos of the three desecrated signs and posted them on Facebook.

She shared her feelings about hate crime.

Marina Bettelyoun / Facebook

Marina Bettelyoun / Facebook

Marina Bettelyoun / Facebook

People who saw Bettelyoun’s post shared his outrage.

Sidney Toppah / Facebook

Deanna Huber Clayborne / Facebook

Ronatta Hurtado / Facebook

Leighton Thomas / Facebook

KOTA News spoke directly with Bettelyoun and she developed the sentiment she expressed in this post.

“The sign itself can be replaced – it can be restored – but the message it leaves behind is enduring.”

“It’s a deep wound.”

Her husband, Alexander Bettelyoun, also shared her thoughts.

“For me, personally, I feel like I was oblivious to it.”

“[The] first [time] seeing that, I was like ‘Oh, wow. It’s okay, ‘but that’s only because you’re so used to it. See the hate, especially like that. “

Oglala Sioux Tribal President Kevin Killer and the tribe’s Department of Public Safety also responded to the vandalism with the following statement:

As President of the Oglala Sioux Tribe and a former member of the South Dakota Legislature, I and all members of the Oglala Lakota Nation vehemently condemn the hate vandalism on signs on the South Dakota State Highway 73, just south of Kadoka on the borderline. “

“These signs serve as welcoming emblems for visitors and guests to the Pine Ridge Indian Reservation and illustrate the pride we have in our culture and traditions as a sovereign nation. Over the past 24 hours, the signs have been spray painted with a derogatory term involving President Joseph Biden, the letters “KKK” and a swastika painted on our tribal flag. “

“The Oglala Lakota Nation would like these people
responsible for being held accountable for their actions and prosecuted to the fullest extent of the law. “

“As a sovereign nation within the borders of the State of South Dakota, the Oglala Sioux Tribe continues to extend a hand of friendship to those who wish to make a positive impact on present and future generations. We look forward to sharing our new brands welcoming visitors from around the world shortly. “

As KOTA News coverage of the story spread across the internet, the community’s anger only swelled.

Kristin E Trask / Facebook

Severt Long Soldier-Sitting Bear / Facebook

James Tyler Morris / Facebook

Heather Armstrong / Facebook

Hopefully the new signs prove that racist vandals have only ensured the creation of welcome images that look better than ever.

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