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Tuesday, July 10, 2012

The worst place to be an Indian: the USA: Update

Update from Indian Country Today Media.  

It's been a month since there has been any word about investigating what happened to Cheyenne River resident Vern Traversie at the Rapid City Regional Hospital last September.

That word was that Federal Bureau of Investigation, the South Dakota Attorney General’s office, and Health and Human Services are looking into the case.

Home from the hospital.
Traversie, who is legally blind, was in Rapid City Regional Hospital for heart surgery.  Just before he was released and returned to Cheyenne River, a hospital worker came to him and said that she was deeply troubled about what happened to him and that he should have a health care worker look at his torso when he got home.  A visiting nurse examined what look like mutilations on his stomach and report it.  It included some scars that look like someone carved KKK into his skin.

The circumstance is that Traversie has minimal vision.  He did not know what was on his person; he had to have someone tell him.

Traversie and the people who have gotten involved with the incident claim the carving was the act of a hate crime.  Traversie reported the matter to law enforcement authorities and consulted a lawyer, but they did nothing.  He then made a video that went on You Tube.  That inspired responses from a number of tribal officers throughout the nation,  It also resulted in a couple hundred people protesting outside the Rapid City Hospital.  So, all the agencies named above claim to be working on the case.

At this time, there is no  explanation of what made the mess on Vern's belly. He apparently did not receive any explanation or instructions from the hospital, except for the worker who told him to have his torso looked at by a health care worker.  That is not the usual procedure when people are released from hospitals.  They are usually given full explanations of their  medical condition and instructions on what to do next.  Apparently, Vern received none of that.

The hospital and some authorities do not seem to think that either Vern or  public deserves an explanation of what happened to him.  We await what the state Attorney General, the FBI, and Health and Human Services think.  

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Aberdeen, South Dakota, United States