2015 year marks the 40th anniversary of the Hmong arrival in Minnesota. Take a tour through the MPR archives to look back at the story of Hmong resettlement in the state.
December 29, 1979 - In 1979, MPR News reporter Greg Barron accompanied a team of medical doctors and nurses from Minnesota as they worked in Cambodian refugee camps along Thailand's border with Kampuchea, the Khmer Rouge-controlled state that controlled Cambodia from 1975 until 1979.
June 22, 1991 - MPR’s Chris Roberts profiles local Hmong pop-rock group Asian Invasion. Roberts interviews members of the band, who describe their varied influences and cultural subject matter in songs.
November 27, 1992 - MPR’s Chris Roberts reports on the annual Hmong New Year’s celebration held in St. Paul. Roberts interviews participants and describes some of the customs on display.
October 18, 1996 - Female doctors are no longer an unusual sight in U.S. hospitals and clinics. In fact, 20 percent of all physicians in Minnesota are women. But for some immigrant ethnic groups the percentage is much lower. For example, in the Hmong community there are only three women doctors in the nation. One of those is first-year resident Pua Xiong, who works at St. Joseph's Hospital in Saint Paul. As Minnesota Public Radio's Lorna Benson reports, Pua's quest for a medical degree forced her to confront a multitude of cultural barriers.
January 22, 1997 - Minnesota health care workers are trying to deal with a cultural curveball. A growing number of their patients are not familiar with western medicine, western customs or the English language. Most of these patients are refugees from third-world countries such as Laos or Somalia. Their arrival has forced doctors and nurses to rely on translators, clan members and spiritual leaders for medical information. As Minnesota Public Radio's Lorna Benson reports, the founders of a new Center for Cross-Cultural Health are hoping to minimize these medical anxieties by better preparing health care workers.
March 24, 1997 - Hundreds of people rallied at the State Capitol today (Monday) on behalf of a bill that would restore the cuts in benefits to legal immigrants in the new federal welfare reform law. The "The Fairness to Immigrants Act" is authored by Democrat Senator Paul Wellstone and has the support of Minnesota's Democratic congressmen Vento, Sabo and Oberstar. Minnesota Public Radio's Karen-Louise Boothe reports from the capitol: sfx of the rally The rally drew HUNDREDS of mostly southeast Asian immigrants. They filled the floor of the Capitol Rotunda...and encircled it from above where many leaned over a railing to watch the event from the second floor. Every
May 12, 1997 - For 22 years, a New York-based organization called Meet the Composer has been pairing composers with orchestras and choral groups. The goal is to bring the people who write music in closer contact with those who perform it. In recent years, the organization has gone a step further. It has placed composers "in residence" at a public library in Queens, New York... a tenants' association in New Orleans... and the St. Paul Public Housing Agency. Minnesota Public Radio's John Biewen reports. In a row of bureaucrats' cubicles at the St. Paul Public Housing Agency there's one marked 'composer in-residence.' You won't find Randall Davidson
February 9, 1998 - The social service needs that government and business don't meet are often filled by Minnesota's non-profit organizations. The backbone of many of the non-profits are idealistic young people content to work hard for low pay. The most talented ones win promotions and find themselves managing staff and budgets. But most have little training for their new responsibilities. A Minneapolis-based organization trains workers to be the next generation of non-profit managers. Minnesota Public Radio's Dan Olson reports.
March 12, 1998 - Huge images of young immigrants will dominate the atrium of the Hennepin County Government Center in Minneapolis for the next two days. They are part of a video installation by artist Laurie Phillips who says she wants to give visibility to the powerless and allow them to tell some of their own stories. Minnesota Public Radio's Mary Stucky reports.
May 8, 1998 - The Twin Cities' most eclectic radio station is celebrating its 20th birthday this week. "KFAI," also known as "Fresh Air Radio," is a non-commercial throwback to the days of "freeform radio," when the format changed from song to song. Its news and public affairs programming is unabashedly liberal, even left-wing. That the station has stayed on the air for 20-years is a miracle to some, while others view its existence in an ever consolidating radio market as more important than ever. Minnesota Public Radio's Chris Roberts reports.