Listen: Bellecourt

MPR’s Dan Olson reports on opening of first American Indian Opportunities Industrialization Center scheduled to open in Minneapolis. Olson interviews Clyde Bellecourt, former American Indian movement activist and one of the founders of the Indian-controlled survival schools in the Twin Cities.


(00:00:00) The first American Indian opportunities industrialization Center is scheduled to open next fall in Minneapolis. And it is the first of its kind in this country. It will be run by Indians in an effort to train young Indians for skilled jobs the founder of oh Isis of America the Reverend Leon Sullivan of Philadelphia is in Minnesota to seek support for the American Indian Center. The program will be directed by Clyde bellecourt former American Indian movement activists. And one of the founders of the indian-controlled survival schools in the Twin Cities bellacourt. Said that a program to train 100 young people will make only a dent in the number of Indians who are unemployed and bellacourt said that number is higher than ever because of what he called The Bureau of Indian Affairs resettlement of traditional people.
(00:00:41) The reason for that is a lot of people are being moved off the land today because of energy resources. They estimate that 80% of all the remaining energy resources here in America is on our land in the southwest right now today to removing 10,000 traditional people from Big Mountain with a rhenium is people Not trained they don't have they don't even know the English line. They've been to school in her life and shooting them in the Albuquerque. We have Pueblos and hope he's now starting to show up in Minneapolis looking for a place to live looking for employment looking for a job. So we see that the, you know, just in the past five years alone. The population has doubled here in the Twin Cities area. The Indian
(00:01:19) population bellacourt said the center's $300,000 projected budget will come from Department of Labor funds and other sources and it will be used to offer training in a number of areas. Has especially Building Trades.
(00:01:32) We have a contract right now for three million dollars to build a hundred and twenty eight homes for low income Indian housing in 2000. We went around to six or seven site locations your last week and we didn't find one single Indian person working on any of those homes. So now we are demanding that a certain percentage of our of The Proposal. We sent a Minnesota Housing Finance. We are demanding that a certain percentage be for Indian employment and
(00:01:56) training. I love Court said he hopes the American Indian. Oh, IC will serve Indian youth from the entire Upper Midwest not just Minnesota you hopes for example to expand the training program to reservations where he says the Indian population has land and resources which are idle
(00:02:11) now we also have on our board of directors members of the Minnesota Chippewa tribe who are interested in developing a Job Corps program that has been closed down for 12 years on my home reservation where to 6,000 acres of land that's available for agricultural type program we found Out through dr. Sullivan that recently that they have solicited out of the Interior Department of Agriculture and commerce 5,000 acres of land in the western states to develop training for Youth and Young People in the agricultural Fields. Now we're talking to doctor tell him, dr. Sullivan. I was a teacher should start talking to Indians now because we got millions of acres of land that is undeveloped and we're their hand out Commodities and food stamps and on we got canneries and Job Corps centers already on our reservations at I'm not even being used and so we're trying to convince. Dr. Sullivan at some of these Job Corps program should be located on
(00:03:06) reservations Clyde bellacourt. Who is the director of the American Indian opportunities industrialization Center scheduled to open next fall in Minneapolis. I'm Dan Olsen.


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