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Native Sun News: Rapid City reaches out to Pine Ridge youth

The following story was written and reported by Richie Richards, Native Sun News Staff Writer. All content © Native Sun News.

Guy Mann, far left, with staff of friendly people at Culver's in Rapid City, South Dakota. Photo by Richie Richards

Local eatery reaches out to American Horse School students
Culver’s owners want Indian children to know there are good people in Rapid City
By Richie Richards
Native Sun News Staff Writer

RAPID CITY –– As the citizens of Rapid City work to save the reputation of a beautiful town nestled against the Black Hills, many organizations and businesses are reaching out to the students of the American Horse School (AHS) in gestures of kindness.

Among those exemplary citizens is the owner/partner of Culver’s of Rapid City, Guy Mann, who along with partners Dean Linquist and Jerry Scriver, wish to extend a special offer to the AHS students who were the victims of an incident in which beer and racial slurs were hurled at Native American students ages 9-13.

This incident took place at a Rush hockey game at the Rushmore Plaza Civic Center on Jan. 24 and has been the subject of great reaction from Indian Country as well as concerned citizens of Rapid City and the surrounding area.

Guy Mann and the two locations of Culver’s of Rapid City, along with Culver’s Headquarters in Prairie Du Sac, Wis., is offering the 57 students, on a return visit to Rapid City, a meal free of charge as a way to welcome them back and show support.

Says Mann, “I want those kids to know there are good people in the world who care for them and just want to do the right thing.”

Culver’s of Rapid City is a locally-owned business whose owners live and raise their families in Rapid City. Mann is a father of five, including an adopted daughter who is African-American, and hopes the community can heal from this incident in a timely manner and is happy to help in any way.

Native Sun News spoke with Dr. Gloria J. Coats-Kitsopoulos, Superintendent of AHS, regarding Culver’s offer. She is very grateful for the gesture and all the businesses and organizations of Rapid City who are working to mend the pain caused by the persons responsible for the assault and abusive behavior acted upon her AHS students.

Dr. Coats-Kitsopoulos confirms there are many businesses in Rapid City contacting AHS with offers, including the Rushmore Plaza Civic Center and the Rush Hockey organization. These will all be submitted to the School Board of AHS for review and consideration.

Despite the misleading information circulating, Dr. Coats-Kitsopoulos has stated that although there is an invitation from officials, the American Horse School has yet to confirm a return trip to the Civic Center for a Rush Hockey game.

The AHS Superintendent said, “We have been really honored by the offers. At this point, we just want justice. We want an indictment and charges to be filed so we can begin the healing process for our children. Our society does have good people and we want the students of American Horse School to understand that.”

Culver’s is a community-friendly business which supports many organizations including churches, school fundraiser nights, YMCA events, and contributes in ways which promote a healthy environment for all.

Many residents of the Indian reservations say that the incident which took place at the Rush hockey game was a deplorable act which will affect the 57 innocent lives and their families indefinitely, but will also take Rapid City years to correct.

It is through random acts of kindness displayed by Culver’s owners that will help to build the healing process. It is one of the first acts of reconciliation.

(Contact Richie Richards at

Copyright permission Native Sun News

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