Police Called on Native Americans Attending College Tour at Colorado State

Police Called on Native Americans Attending College Tour at Colorado State

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Thomas Kanewakeron Gray walks in his graduation from Santa Fe Indian High School. Family supplied photo.

Two Native American brothers thinking about attending Colorado State University missed most of the campus tour because one of the parents on the tour felt “nervous” about them and called police, according to multiple media reports.

Thomas Kanewakeron Gray, 19, said he and his 17-year-old brother Lloyd Skanahwati Gray drove from New Mexico to visit the campus, which they wanted to attend because of its proximity to Denver and the music scene there. They joined the tour late, and, according to school officials, made one of the parents on the tour nervous.

“I think it’s pretty discriminatory,” Thomas Kanewakeron Gray told the Associated Press. “Me and my brother just stayed to ourselves the whole time. I guess that was scaring people; that we were just quiet.”

Gray told the AP police stopped the pair while the Colorado State University admissions tour group was inside a gymnasium Monday, and began questioning the brothers aggressively about why they were on campus that day. Campus police patted them both down let them go after they were able to show an email proving they had reserved spots on the tour. By then their tour group had moved on without them and the brothers left the campus and returned home.

“The incident is sad and frustrating from nearly every angle,” Colorado State officials wrote in an email to students. “Particularly the experience of two students who were here to see if this was a good fit for them as an institution. As a university community, we deeply regret the experience of these students while they were guests on our campus.”

Thomas Kanewakeron Gray is finishing his first year at New Mexico College and Lloyd Skanahwati Gray is a senior at Santa Fe Indian High School.

It’s the latest example of police being called when white people feel nervous around people of color in everyday situations, such as when two Black men were arrested in a Philadelphia Starbucks.

Written by Madison365 staff

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