Wingate Lodge Nice Falls accused of racism towards Browning residents
When Kevin Kickingwoman, a teacher who lives in Browning, went to the Wingate and Wyndham hotel in Great Falls on Tuesday evening, a desk clerk reportedly told him that the hotel would not support people from Browning for staying in Blackfeet Nation- home counseling for coronavirus.
Kevin was scheduled to undergo surgery in Great Falls early Wednesday, and his daughter and mother, who live in Missoula, met him at the hotel.
Kevin’s daughter Sharen, 26, took to Twitter shortly after the incident.
“How is it possible for them to still serve the people from Missoula? We have huge covid numbers, (sh * t) everywhere in the whole country there are so many numbers right now. Sounds like some are racist and selective. Is this your point, Wingate Hotels?” He wrote Tuesday evening.
Larry Gooldy, the hotel’s director, said the hotel does not accept guests from any country with a COVID-19 problem. The Blackfeet Nation housing law, which was recently enacted on November 8, provides for other things, including leaving the area for medical treatment, and nowhere does the nation ask local businesses to enforce their orders.
Gooldy said if guests are from Browning, they should provide a doctor’s certificate, with their name and date of visit, or a letter from Blackfeet COVID-19 Incident Command, stating that the person is allowed to leave the facility.
Gooldy said visitors had shown him travel documents, but indigenous information officer Jim McNeely said this was not a lie and that form did not exist.
“The Blackfeet Tribe is currently looking into the matter and will move people forward,” McNeely said in a statement Wednesday.
Gooldy said its principles apply to all countries that have COVID-19 regulations.
“Every time you shut down the United States from anywhere, we put it here, and they’re not given time,” Gooldy said. “As we welcomed the California visitors here when their government was initially closed. And they have not remained here in Wingate in Great Falls. But I too have not been called a racist.”
When the Kickingwoman family reported that Kevin was having surgery the next day, Sharen said the employee had asked for evidence, so Kevin sent the doctor a prescription. Gooldy said the doctor’s note did not have the patient’s name or time to visit, but that the employee informed him of the matter and visited them.
The couple walked to the hotel for about 30 minutes but decided to leave to stay somewhere else.
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Sharen said his mother, who had booked the place, had not received any money since Wednesday afternoon, but Gooldy said the family was reimbursed $ 72.96.
“I don’t want to be somewhere that doesn’t help our people,” Sharen sent a message Tuesday. “Great Falls’ economy is run by the people of our nation. This has been severely disrupted.”
Gooldy said the hotel’s guidelines are for safety reasons and that they are following recommendations from the Cascade City-County Health department (CCHD).
“I have been advised by the City-County Health department … that if we need to do so, we can impose any restrictions such as the business security business and the purity of the people living in it,” he said.
The CCHD released a statement stating, “CCHD Health Supervisor Trisha Gardner recalls that she spoke to the manager a few months ago. (expulsion of foreigners depending on where they live). “
Blackfeet Nation also reported a total of 153 cases of COVID-19 in the area on Tuesday. The state of Missoula, had a total of 749 cases on the same day. Cascade County, where the hotel is located, had 939 cases Tuesday.
Wingate has more than 100 properties worldwide. A spokesman for the agency’s franchise said Gooldy’s policies were ethical, not corporate.
“Our core values seek to be inclusive and inclusive and we reject racism and xenophobia. Although it has a welcome environment, meaning that it is owned and operated, we consider this and research it with the hotel and its team management,” said a representative. Wyndham Hotels and Resorts said in a statement.
Rep. Barbara Bessette, D-Great Falls, said she stayed at the Wingate Hotel in Helena for fun, business and law. He criticized the principles of the Great Falls hotel.
“While caution is needed in times of unprecedented crisis, discrimination is unacceptable,” he said. “Unfortunately, such incidents occur on a daily basis in Great Falls. Many are unidentified, and it is important to stand up, speak, and highlight these flaws. Everyone should be welcomed and kept safe in our city.”
Details:Blackfeet Nation pays all members $ 500 in COVID-19 relief
As Sharen on Facebook and Twitter shared what happened online, commentators felt they had heard similar experiences at Wingate.
Three months ago, a woman identified as Hannah BC stopped checking on Google at the hotel, saying “I would count 0 if possible. She would not allow the Native American family to keep a room. She said she refused because all Indians are infected with COVID-19!”
Larry Gooldy, the hotel’s general manager, responded with a comment.
“Well let’s be honest. … That’s why the hotel says we don’t take a visitor who shouldn’t be walking and I wonder why ???? Don’t you think you are traveling as you are at risk of getting sick … I wonder …. It doesn’t matter because I didn’t stop you but I will not allow anyone to harass you to enter a hotel and put you at risk of illness when you do not need it This product has been sent (to) to the Browning BIA (Bureau of Indian Affairs) and is currently underway. For others who wish to try to do so. it will teach you what to do. “
Gooldy confirmed that he had followed the Bureau of Indian Affairs.
“I faxed them the application they were asking for at the time because the man chose to write a comment saying we were racists, and I sat there arguing at the hotel and saying you were not doing well. You are not following what you should do when you are not traveling and you are here in Great Falls. Tribune.
While Gooldy was talking to the Tribune, two girls approached the front desk they were shopping for. After leaving, Gooldy told a reporter:
“Then let me ask you something, two people there, where are they from?”
When the reporter replied that he did not know, he said, “What is it, who is it, and what kind of people are they?”
When he further said he did not know, he replied that the girls were “Native Americans, not from Browning and not living in isolation, but still staying at my hotel.”
“So, am I, am I, ha, or is this hotel causing discrimination?” He asked.
Nora Mabie joins the Indian subcontinent in the Great Falls Tribune. You can reach [email protected] Follow on Facebook @NoraMabieJournalist or on Twitter @NoraMabie.
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