Video of Nurse’s Racist Rant Gets Her Fired

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A nurse from Rapid City Regional Hospital in South Dakota was fired after a 13-second video surfaced of her going on a racist rant against Native Americans.

The video, which surfaced Sunday morning, can be viewed here.

In the video, the nurse, allegedly Ryane Oliva, can be heard calling Indians foul names in an expletive-laden and vulgar tirade that in many ways demonstrates the palpable racism that permeates South Dakota.

Other posts made by Oliva, including a Snapchat post that contained the N-word in the text, likewise surfaced. The Snapchat post was sent to the 15 year-old daughter of Manilla Thomas, a member of the Cheyenne River Sioux Tribe. Thomas is the one who originally posted the video of Oliva’s rant.

Cody Hall, another Cheyenne River Sioux Tribal member and co-founder of Last Real Indians, decided to create a Facebook event page for a rally to protest Oliva’s employment. The rally was set for Tuesday May 12th, but Rapid City Regional Hospital announced that Oliva had been fired on Monday. Brent Phillips, President and CEO of Regional Health, wrote:

“Regional Health has a zero tolerance policy regarding this type of behavior by its caregivers inside or outside the workplace. We will not stand for any type of racism or bigotry on the part of our caregivers or physicians. We take this type of behavior very seriously and the employee has been terminated, as it clearly violates the Regional Health Code of Conduct.”

This is not the first time Regional Health has been criticized for its treatment of Native Americans. In 2011, Vern Traversie, a Lakota elder, said he awoke from a double-bypass surgery with “KKK” and other wounds carved into his chest and abdomen. A YouTube video and a “Justice for Vern Traversie” Facebook were created to bring awareness to both this particular hate crime and the racism that Native Americans face across the nation.

In response to Oliva’s racist video, Regional Health invited community members along with Native American, African American, and Rapid City leaders to gather together on Tuesday May 12th “in a show of solidarity.”

“Together, we will show we are stronger when we stand together and there is no place for racism or bigotry anywhere in our great state,” Phillips said.

The state of South Dakota has continually been under fire for its treatment of Native Americans. Not only have there been multiple hate crimes committed in highly Indian-populated areas like Rapid City, but the state government itself has been illegally taking Indian children away from their families and tribes. While the Lakota People’s Law Project is glad that Regional Health recognized Oliva’s rant as offensive and unacceptable, we also know that much more has to be done to stop the racist and unjust treatment of Native Americans both in South Dakota and across the nation.

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6 thoughts on “Video of Nurse’s Racist Rant Gets Her Fired”

  1. Yes there most definitely is racism towards Native people in Western SD.
    I have lived all over America and seen racism towards Blacks in the south, Hispanics in Texas, Navajo in NM.
    I worked in the medical field as a registered radiographer for 40 years.
    In Virginia I saw a tech do a chest X-ray on an elderly black man. The radiation should have only been directed toward his chest but she radiated the entire body. I quit in protest.
    In SD I was on a mobile unit traveling to 4 reservations and found the Lakota to be wonderful people. It amazes me how someone like this “nurse ratchet” can hold herself to such esteem. Obviously she does not see these people as equals in the human race and there is nowhere in the medical field for that type of person.
    I hope her license is pulled. BTW I am white.
    Anyone reading this at Cheyenne River Res, I miss you guys😄

  2. This has been going on for years, now it about time it’s on phones and

    the world to see. It happens all over the USA as all native nations will come together and let all colors now that we as native allow them to work in places we allow them to be educated on own lands. As Greedy as the whites have become I Victoria yardy come and say that shit to my face my # will be on my text and call lets meet alone or are you all mouth Victoria yardy

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