Couple dressed as Native Americans kicked out of Lewiston restaurant
Stephen Pimpo Jr., KLEW
LEWISTON (KLEW) — A Lewiston couple dressed as Native Americans was kicked out of Shari’s on Saturday for allegedly shouting “war cries” and making offensive remarks to the restaurant’s Native American employees, officials say.
Shari’s spokesperson Lisa Amore says that late Saturday night, a group of people came to the restaurant intoxicated following a Halloween party.
“At one point, they started making war cries in a certain part of the restaurant and becoming disruptive,” Amore says. “And in fact, at that time also, there were a number of customers in the restaurant who were also Native American.”
The woman in the photo said in a Facebook post that they were ousted from Shari’s because of their costumes. Amore says that just was not the case.
“They were asked to leave because of their offensive conduct and behavior and comments towards our staff and our guests,” she says.
Amore says that after the couple began their disruptive behavior, the shift lead at the restaurant asked them to quiet down. The couple’s alleged response?
“They started making offensive comments at both their waitress and at the cook, both of whom are Native American,” says Amore.
Amore called their actions “appalling,” especially considering how close Lewiston is to the Nez Perce Indian Reservation. The screenshot from the woman’s since-deleted Facebook post has now gone viral, with almost universal praise for the Shari’s employees’ actions.
“Everyone is very, very proud of the way in which our staff handled the situation,” Amore says.
KLEW was unable to reach the couple in the photo for comment.
Amore clarified that the couple is not banned from the restaurant, though they themselves said they wouldn’t be coming back to Shari’s.
Nez Perce Tribe Communications Director Kayeloni Scott released the following statement on the incident:
“Native American regalia is cultural, sacred attire that Native Americans wear for ceremonies and cultural practices; it is not a costume. As Native Americans, we place high value on these pieces, and believe they should never be discounted as something for dress up.”
This article first appeared on fellow CNN affiliate KLEW. It is used here with permission.