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A collection of stories from MPR's Indian Civil Rights Series "Broken Trust." Joe Day, executive director of the Minnesota Indian Affairs Council, enrolled member of the Leech-Lake Band of Chippewa speaks on MPR's Indian Civil Rights Series "Broken Trust."

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(00:00:03) Six minutes past eleven now, good morning and welcome to midday. I'm Mike Mulcahy sitting in for Gary eichten all this week Minnesota public radio's Main Street reporters have been looking at the issue of Indian civil rights. We're going to listen to some of those reports during this hour of midday and then talk to Jo de the executive director of the Minnesota Indian Affairs Council many Indian people in Minnesota and The Dakotas say they've come to expect in Justice both on and off the reservation. We'll begin with the voices of people who say their rights and complaints are ignored listeners should be warned. This is an issue which provokes some strong language Main Street radios. Dan Gunderson reports the stories begin as a trickle but spend some time in Indian country and they become a torrent from tribal leaders to schoolchildren attorneys to convicted criminals stories about being treated differently John ROK Junior likes to spend evenings shooting pool with friends in his garage between shots. He appears out the window. Checking he says for signs of the man. He claims harasses him nearly every day. It started in a dispute over. How snow is cleared from an alley Rock says when he saw his neighbor making obscene gestures. He walked across the yard to confront him and he (00:01:17) goes get off my property of prairie nigger and he kept hollering and Holland some War started teasing teasing (00:01:24) me. Like I'm going to go to jail. You (00:01:25) could go to jail. You (00:01:26) half-breed rock says he challenged the man to a fight but only words were exchanged police were called and rock was charged with trespassing. He says the harassment continues but he's not getting the help he wants from police. He says he's complained directly to the chief of police. You told me to be a bigger man and looked the other way and that he was going to do something look into it police say the case is ongoing they deny rock is treated differently than any other citizen. The neighbor did not respond to requests for an interview. John Rock has filed a complaint with the Minnesota human rights Department while John Rock Says police ignored his complaints many. And say they get too much attention from police. These people have all filed complaints with the human rights Department alleging police brutality you threw me on a car and he kept on choking (00:02:13) me b-but my hands behind my back and he pulled my hair. So you're going to listen to me (00:02:17) to get out and you tell us put our hands up on the car. Otherwise, you tell us again in the cop car and you searched us then he let us go. (00:02:24) I slammed my face and not Hood. I start bleeding right away and I turned my head and he hit my head again in many (00:02:31) cases such allegations by American Indians are dismissed as complaints of troublemakers chances are slim their complaints will be investigated records show the Minnesota human rights Department investigates fewer than 5% of complaints filed by American Indians officials say the agency is hamstrung by a lack of resources and often lacks jurisdiction County arrested istic show in some Northern Minnesota counties American Indians are a minority of the population, but make up a majority of those arrested and jailed Lon. Hospital officials say that simply reflects the fact American Indians commit more of the crime allegations against law enforcement for racial profiling or abuse are difficult to investigate but white Earth tribal judge Anita find a says the complaints are so common. She started collecting sworn affidavits. It's a (00:03:20) class action lawsuit waiting to happen. I mean, there are clearly violations of federal law clearly people are receiving law enforcement Services based on the perceptions as to whether they are Indian or non-indian totally wrong totally (00:03:39) false Warren wrath, which is Sheriff of Becker County which encompasses part of the white Earth reservation (00:03:44) It's usually the one percent of the population that seems to have the problem with law enforcement and probably some of those reasons why is they're involved in some illegal activities and when they get caught they're the first ones to screamed at that they're being picked that I just say, you know, maybe We're going to have to get sued a few (00:04:04) times Becker County Commissioner Carolyn and Robertson says she believes American Indians in her County are treated differently by law enforcement. (00:04:11) It's going to have to cost us some money and maybe that's what's going to take and then I encourage people to do (00:04:17) it. Anchor Brett's and says she is troubled by the vast Chasm that still seems to exist between white and Indian people in northern Minnesota. She vividly recalls a conversation while campaigning last fall near the reservation (00:04:29) one hit actually suggested that you know, we put barbed wire fences up and keep them inside and I said that's concentration camps. That's what you want. Well, that's good enough, right? (00:04:42) It was horrifying. I was just sick to my stomach. Well such jarring stories are not uncommon many American Indians say the subtle daily incidents of racism, which violate no laws take a greater (00:04:53) toll back like you're invisible. They look down or you know, they look to the (00:04:57) side Robert simic is an environmental activist who lives near Bemidji. He says every time he Knocks down the street. He's reminded he's an outcast calls a day this (00:05:06) winter when a white teenage girl crawled over a large (00:05:09) snow bank rather than pass him in an alley shamekh says, he's come to accept such responses as a fact of (00:05:16) life. Would it have done me any good to stop and ask her you didn't have to do that. No, you don't have to be afraid of me. I'm okay wouldn't have done any good. (00:05:32) I don't know Shane excess challenging such incidents can be risky. He says he was harassed and threatened after speaking out about racism in a local school. There are everyday incidents reported in many schools a young Indian student told he must cut his hair to be on a sports team long hair has a powerful spiritual significance for American Indians many Indian students say they are subjected to racial epithets in classrooms and hallways one of the most volatile cases involves the University of North Dakota in Grand Forks Indian students want the school to stop using the Fighting Sioux nickname for sports teams, as a result of that debate Indian students say they are harassed and threatened on a daily basis the u.s. Education Department Civil Rights division is currently investigating those (00:06:15) complaints to go. Sheila will come together to identify (00:06:23) as people Mel about the UND student. And elderly is a group of nickname protesters in prayer a white student walking by curses the group under his breath when questioned he hurries into the crowd UND student wash day we young says she hears those comments every day. Her car has been vandalized and she says she'll no longer walk across campus alone. But she takes a pragmatic view of the (00:06:46) situation the American people are the largest minority group in North Dakota. And this is just like the Mississippi of the north. And so right now we just have to put up with these racist remarks because they're ignorant got we have to understand that they're ignorant and they don't know any better (00:07:01) many American Indians don't share that attitude generations of bad land deals boarding schools and racist comments lead many to alcohol drugs and other self-destructive Behavior growing up on the reservation White Earth tribal chairman Doyle Turner saw the bitterness passed from generation to generation. He says he understands why he believes his wife was recently a target of racial profiling in a traffic stop, but he says he's determined To avoid becoming bitter my (00:07:27) parents and their parents and their parents died waiting for fairness to happen. I really don't know the mindset of a society that won't come back and fix things that have gone. Awry. It puzzles me that makes me reach into places. I don't want to go. (00:07:45) Okay Turner says the solution is not angrily demanding justice, but educating young people and building tribal economic power. He says change will not come quickly, but he's encouraged by a Groundswell of young American Indians determined to seek the justice that he looted previous generations, Dan Gunderson, Minnesota Public Radio Moorhead reports of civil rights violations on Minnesota's Indian reservations have persisted for years Indians have filed scores of complaints with the with state and federal agencies saying they live under a system where political patronage and nepotism rule the day and where tribal leaders can manipulate the legal system to benefit themselves and their supporters. The past few years have brought major reforms and tribal government, but there is still a lingering mistrust a later in this hour. We'll be talking with Joe day of the Indian Affairs Council first Minnesota public radio's Tom Robertson has this story part of our week-long Main Street series broken trust civil rights in Indian Country the United States Constitution stops at the borders of Indian Country the US Supreme Court ruled more than 100 years ago that the document does not apply to Indians living on reservations legal ruling since then of established. It's up to tribal governments to protect basic civil rights that non-indians take for granted if tribal governments abuse that responsibility victims have few places to turn the Red Lake Indian reservation in northern. Minnesota has had a tribal court for more than a century German Bobby white feather says the court does its best to protect the civil rights of band members. He admits that wasn't always the case previously dissension was something that Not well tolerated by the administration at that point in time white feather is referring to the 32 year reign of former chairman Roger jourdain, whose administration control the court that according to a 1986 Star Tribune investigation denied jury trials jail people for days without specifying charges and denied Prisoners the opportunity to post bail in 1982 jourdain and the tribal council effectively barred lawyers from tribal court unless they could speak the native language. I think the word fluently was also inserted in there and even to this day. I don't know of any legally licensed a licensed attorney that possesses those qualifications and so in a way that that restricted access to Lottery legal counsel white feather says changes in the late 1980s led to a court system that is more responsive to the Civil Rights of band members, but former reservation resident Clara niska says things are far from ideal niska is of In dissent but is not from Red Lake. She moved there in the 1970s and later married Wobegon. Ooh a member of the band and one of the founders of the controversial American Indian movement niska says she and her husband suffered years of persecution for their political beliefs. And when he died in 1997, she was abruptly and forcibly exiled kicked me out of my house a week after he died with a clothes on my back pretty much. It happened in a red light courtroom where niska was attending a probate hearing to settle her husband's estate. She says Tribal Police walked in with an order of exclusion signed by the chairman. She was escorted to the reservation border and told never to come back. She left behind her car her home and all of her belongings. She says her civil rights were never considered there's times that I've stood on the line and looked across and yearned for the land that I may never see again. It's a cold-hearted thing. To say you can't even visit your husband's grave German white feather says his action in the niska case was legal under Tribal Law and was justified to protect what he calls the Tranquility of the reservation. She was removed because she was creating dissension amongst other people here. She was creating a problem (00:11:40) as a Sovereign Nation. (00:11:42) We have the authority and the ability to establish the parameters of the rights of our people Congress gave Indians, most of the protections of the Bill of Rights in the 1968 Indian Civil Rights Act, but 10 years later the Supreme Court sharply limited the impact of that legislation ruling the tribal sovereignty gives tribes authority over Internal Affairs and tribes are increasingly using that sovereignty to broaden the scope of their courts. We're going to go on the record. This is white Earth tribal court. My name is Anita find a I'm the judge presiding here today on the white Earth Indian. In Northwestern Minnesota chief judge Anita find a overseas a court that functions on a shoestring budget but owes its existence to the influx of Casino profits just a few years ago. The court handled only hunting and fishing cases now its jurisdiction is greatly expanding and I always feel like sovereignty is a matter of use it or lose it and we need to set out the parameters of our jurisdiction and guarded very jealously. The courts caseload has doubled in the past year it now handles misdemeanor traffic violations child protection and a variety of civil cases soon. It will take on Juvenile Justice and domestic violence coats find a says one of the more popular new services with Indians and non-indians alike is a cheap divorce. I make the pitch. This is the only place in Minnesota. You can get it you can get a divorce for $25 in one week. So we're we're seeing an influx of people if they both agree to submit. Themselves to the jurisdiction of the white Earth tribal court, we can divorce anyone but wider this court system is built against a dismal backdrop of repression and Corruption the 20-year regime of former chairman Darrell chip Wadena, which ended in 1996 included a host of abuses political favoritism embezzlement fraud and stolen elections judge find a admits there were civil rights abuses on a massive scale the judge did what the tribal council wanted done. And if the tribal judge did something that that Tribal Council didn't like they lost their job if the tribal council didn't like you you didn't get a job. You didn't get a house the system was corrupt to its core trusting in a government with that kind of past is hard to do says band member Ray Belcourt. He believes there are no civil rights on his reservation and nowhere to turn for help. Well when your rights are violated up, there you go one place to go to the people that are violating it and they're not going to act on it. It's like asking the gorilla to get off your back. Come in. It's not going to happen some say the problem lies with the constitution of the Minnesota Chippewa tribe an organization that includes white Earth and five other Ojibwe bands critics including white Earth activists Marvin Manny Penny say the Constitution is flawed because it does not include a separation of powers many Penny says it gives tribal councils unbridled power you might as well have have (00:14:44) kingdoms and a king making all the decisions for you. We demand participatory democracy. (00:14:52) So far reformist have had no luck in changing the Constitution but tribal leaders are working to insulate the courts from interference at White Earth tribal judge, and he defined a says she can no longer be fired by the tribal council her judgeship for the first time in history will be up for election in 2002 find a says many Indians find the criminal justice system intimidating and unfair. She says white Earth's Court provides more opportunity to be heard and is Sensitive to Indian culture. I think there's a great deal of bias in the state court system. I think that for anyone who is poor and who is a minority. It is difficult to receive Justice in the state or the federal system. I think we provide better civil rights protections tribal officials agree the rapid growth of their Judicial Systems will play a key role in further promoting self governance and political stability many also see the institutions as vital to protecting the civil rights of a people that historically have had none. I'm Tom Robertson, Minnesota Public Radio Bemidji of The Twelve races listed on this year's census form. Only one has an official membership card this genetic record known as the white card is what makes an Indian an Indian at least in the eyes of many US government and tribal programs continuing our series broken trust civil rights in Indian Country Main Street radios, Jeff whore which reports that as a Generation of Indians comes of age this long-standing genetic cutoff point for Indian people may be closely linked to the future of Indian nations and cultures Corey Lawrence a junior at st. Cloud State University is a Half-Blood spear Lakes. Ooh, he and his father are enrolled members of the North Dakota tribe, but his mother is Ojibwe and right now that means Corey Lawrence's grandchildren will probably no longer make the cut at Spirit Lake. It's kind of like everything. You know what I mean? I'm enrolled (00:16:50) and then after after my (00:16:51) kids have kids that's it. They can't be enrolling them or in the funding stops. And that's that's what I think blood Quantum was set up to (00:16:58) do and so in a way you could (00:17:01) be seen this, you know, Gina side the vast majority of Indian tribes require 1/4 blood specifically from their reservation for enrollment one full-blooded grandparent for example would give someone a blood Quantum of 1/4 today blood Quantum data is dispersed among the records of the 558. Federally recognized tribes but conventional wisdom holds that most enrolled Indians, especially in the younger generation have a blood Quantum of less than 1/2. This is of some concern to groups like the Minnesota Chippewa. It's against our spiritual belief to marry somebody from your own Clan. Tom Andrews teaches Ojibwe history at st. Cloud State University. He notes the irony that Minnesota's Ojibwe Clans can maintain their bloodline only by betraying their culture. What's a I'm a quarter blood from Fond du Lac and I marry a quarter blood from relax. (00:17:52) Our children are no (00:17:54) longer considered Indian by the federal government. (00:17:59) Because they're not (00:17:59) 25% from one nation and when you're not Indian enough many tangible benefits stop Generations within families can be divided by tribal enrollment and Indian communities are torn between losing members through intermarriage and the real or perceived role of blood Quantum in keeping the remaining cultures pure and strong for this last reason Andres wouldn't do away with blood Quantum, but he foresees more talk of Reform as today's quarter blood young people reach childbearing age overall. I think that the blood-quantum is going to affect the basis of who we are and it's going to affect it in a major way in the next 15 to 20 years blood-quantum in the US has been around longer than the country itself in perhaps the earliest example a 1705 Virginia colony law defines mulatto to be anyone who was at least one half Indian or 1/8 black in Minnesota the first appearance of the blood-quantum, maybe the Treaty of 1837 in which one This makes Provisions for the half-breed relations of the Ojibwe. The government came to adopt 1/4 blood-quantum to distribute the resources tribes secured and treaties across the country on one level. It was a bureaucratic necessity Congress had to draw the line somewhere the more cynical view assumes that the government had an outcome in mind again Tom Andrews. I don't believe that anybody then had any dream that we would have lasted this long and today the blood-quantum establishes the basis in most cases for tribal enrollment with recent expansion of tribal sovereignty and Innovation by reservation governments being enrolled arguably matters as much as it ever has the Indian Child Welfare act protects the cultural rights of enrolled children many Minnesota tribes will supplement State financial aid to help meet the cost of a college education tribal health services offer free or very affordable care for enrolled members some reservations. Like Mille Lacs can essentially guarantee members a job and in rare cases such as Mystic Lake Casino owned and operated by the mid walked ensue cash payments from tribal Enterprises can make tribal members millionaires tribes right to discriminate based on blood comes from their status as Sovereign Nations, but blood-quantum distinctions can divide families in a way. That's unique Kathy Lawrence a nursing student at st. Cloud State is more than 1/4 Ojibwe but does not have enough Indian blood from either Red Lake or white Earth for tribal membership her half brother does but she worries that there would be trouble if she joined him on family hunting trips up in Red Lake my brother hunts, they hunt and fish and you know snare rabbits and do it as a family thing and learning about the land and stuff and I can't do that. No tribal government service is obligated to use blood Quantum the white Earth Indian Health Center administered by the US Department of Health and Human Services avoids tough choices by giving free health care to anyone who can show any relation to a recognized tribe. John MacArthur is the director. (00:20:58) We want to take care of the whole family and extended family and it could be really disruptive if certain members of a family were enrolled in in certain members were not enrolled and you were basing how you provided services to just you know, you could you could potentially provide services to maybe the parents or but not the (00:21:18) children The Wider the clinic can afford this practice for now but tribes and many sympathetic on enrolled Indians worried that liberalizing enrollment on a large scale could put a major Financial strain on Indian programs faced with increasing demand some fear a cultural strain as well. If the blood-quantum based definition of Indian were to change the new census figures will do little to allay such concerns for the first time. The census allowed Americans to choose more than one race and the number of people checking Indian doubled compared with 1990 it grew by 62% in Minnesota to more than eighty one thousand, but tribal records show actual enrollments may be closer to half that number the interim director of the American Indian Center at st. Cloud State a descendant of the Choctaw Nation has light hair and blue eyes and lacks the blood-quantum for enrollment but Rex feeder understands the desire to protect the purity of tribal populations space and Indian (00:22:13) folks it rightfully so are very nervous about people coming into the community saying they're Indian and then, you know, just sort of taking over stuff and appropriating the culture and personally, I like that. I'm sorry. I kind of like the idea that a that that people in certain communities (00:22:34) keep that Circle to (00:22:37) themselves and preserve their sort of sovereignty and integrity as a (00:22:41) people incoming Is Minnesota tribes may look more closely to the Cherokee Nation of Oklahoma, which extends membership to anyone who can trace an ancestor to a century-old membership list the Cherokee add some 1,000 members each month and are now arguably the largest tribe in the nation the US government decided more than 100 years ago that blood-quantum was what made an Indian but too many of today's younger native people, at least it makes sense to look more than skin-deep at cultural values religious practice and whether they intend to contribute to the reservation Community Jenny Wharton a 19 year old freshman in st. Cloud is Choctaw and Comanche. I (00:23:18) personally don't know exactly what my Quantum is. I do know that it's four generations back, but at the same time I could be 1/100, you know the smallest percent and I'd still considered myself an (00:23:37) Indian because it's inside me perhaps it should come as no surprise that Minnesota's tribal elders. Are already one step ahead in a move designed to address the issue of dwindling Bloodlines. The Minnesota Indian Council of Elders is asking State tribes to recognize one another's blood Quantum as equally valid as tribes Ponder The Proposal another generation is coming of age Jeff whore which Minnesota Public Radio Collegeville and you're listening to midday on Minnesota Public Radio. You can hear and read much more about Indian civil rights at our website, Minnesota Public Radio dot org, and be sure to check out the Forum section of the broken trust page on the website. That's where people are talking back to to our stories. We're joined Now by Joe day. He's the executive director of the Minnesota Indian Affairs Council. He's an enrolled member of the Leech Lake band of Chippewa and was a former high-level official with the Minnesota Chippewa tribe Jody also spent many years as a liaison between the 11 tribal governments in the Minnesota Department of Natural Resources. You can join our conversation about And civil rights by calling 6512276 thousand 6512276 thousand if you're listening outside the Twin Cities call toll-free 1-800 to four two two eight two eight one eight hundred two four to Twenty Eight Twenty Eight and Joe day. Thanks for being with us today. You're welcome in in general. How do you think Indian people are treated in the state of Minnesota? I don't think we're treated like other citizens are treated in the state meaning the white citizens. All my life I've felt that I was never afforded the opportunity as other students whether should say white students growing up and also in the workplace. I've noticed the way they were treated a little differently and in what ways I mean Well in school we weren't given the opportunity that other kids had on if we showed some areas where we may have some interest or excelled in in the curricular perspective that we weren't encouraged to pursue those those things that we enjoyed. I enjoyed science as a matter of fact in my ninth grade year. I gave a term paper on the theory of relativity. You know, what is E equals MC squared mean and that didn't really get too much interest in the school system the next year. I gave a report on albinism in our library didn't even have the reference materials to look at genetics and so forth, but I did go to the University of Missouri State and got some reference materials and finished a report. However, after doing those two term papers and looking at post-graduation, I was encouraged to become a mechanic rather than pursue my interest in science. Hmm and you feel that a lot of Indian people have similar experience. Oh, absolutely, you know, it was wonderful to come back to go and give a human relations workshop at my old high school. And what I did was I asked the teachers why are you teaching? You know, it's a personal question. You don't have to answer to me but that's what yourself and explain about those two term papers in my desire for science. You're having taken Biology and chemistry in high school and it was encouraged to go and in to pursue a mechanic's certificate. However, I went to work in California. We made lasers we made laser eye surgery for well just about every application. We made the first point of sale scanner for National cash register and I met the inventor of the laser is on our board of directors. So when I came back and had the opportunity to share this with some of those teachers that were that taught me in school. Why didn't you encouraged me to pursue a science background or science discipline, you know I shared with him during the process my grades from first grade through kindergarten or first grade through 12th grade. And it showed that I was really given like these D pluses and maybe a scene on then until I became eligible for extracurricular activities and came up to meet the standards to participate in the extracurricular activities. And then I shared my college transcripts with him. I said are these asses seems to deny said no, but they were my college transcripts which showed I was had 14 quarters as Dean's List. Yeah. I worked all day and went to school at night. So in departing I asked him. Why are you teaching? I think there was a not so subtle, you know question as to how they treated me and treat other Indians in that school system. Let's take a slight step back here and go back to some of the things Jeff or which was talking about in his story in the the latest census. There was a large increase in the number of minnesotans who identified themselves as Indian or part Indian and this might sound like a silly question. But what is an Indian, how do you answer that question? Well, I think some of the research you've done, you know, what's in your heart. It's what you believe tribal governments are the only ones that can determine who a tribal member is and that's their Sovereign. Right and I believe that the Census Bureau and drafting that survey made quite an error. You know, how come they didn't have other ethnic categories? Are you German and Norwegian or German a Jew or whatever, you know and just instead of singling out Indians, you know, I think some of the senses analysis did prove that, you know, it's kind of nice to have Indian ancestry but not enough to be enrolled. So when they Mark that consequently with a 62% increase in I think it was a perception who was on tribal rolls and the tribal enrollment is a key factor in to the tribal governments do determined that do you think that whole system of blood Quantum is due for a change just to keep people. I mean classified as Indians who who I have Indian Indian Heritage. Well, it's my personal opinion that I've done a little reading on this. I looked at the from the historical perspective on how the federal government entered interacted with the Indians. It was public policy during the 1800s. And how do we gain access to Indian Land? And there is a certain mechanism to to get the ownership of mixed Bloods Land versus full Bloods. So we had different public policies. And from what I feel is that by acquiescing in saying that the Bureau of Indian Affairs said that you should have at least 1/4 Indian and in blood Quantum to be a tribal member to me is an arbitrary number to get out of the Indian business. And to me there are a lot of folks that I have that I know. behave and think as our ancestors did in a community of acceptance participating with rituals and so forth and hunting and fishing and the lifestyles, you know, there are quite a few folks left that still have it in her heart versus you know, what is in your head, you know, it's it's a way of life, you know, it's not Per se a seal a special race in this is what you do and it's a way of life and that's the way our spirituality works too, you know, so it's something that should probably be looked at in terms. Well, I think we're at the threshold now that we see the movements by other tribes and taking a look at that, you know. But as I see all these efforts toward likes the African Americans, when are you in African-American? When are you not I don't want to American Indian. When are you not, you know, the questions are being asked by white people. Hmm, and it's actually none of their business. It's up to the communities. I think okay, we're talking with Joe day. He is the executive director of the Minnesota Indian Affairs Council. We welcome your calls and questions as well in the Twin Cities the number to call six five one two, two seven six thousand 6512276 thousand anywhere else, you're listening make it a toll free call 1-800 to for 22828 and let's take a call from Dave and st. Paul Dave. Hello and welcome to midday. (00:32:51) Hi. Hello. Yeah, I go ahead. Yeah. No, I wanted to talk and Joe, you know, you know bmd. Yeah. Yep, and you know when you're talking about your experiences in school, you know my experiences and I'm a little younger. I'm in the 30-something generation and you know, I I have to say that this the teachers I had in the public schools and in the Catholic schools where I went to you know, they went out of their way to identify me as gifted and talented and encouraged me and maybe I'm just an exception but you know II don't give up on the public schools. I don't give up on the school that are out there because you know, frankly from what I when I know and hear about what's happening in the tribal schools. Unfortunately, they're not serving serving our young people very well right now either. (00:33:36) Yeah. Yeah. I'd like to respond even you know, it wasn't the chastising Public Schools per se. I think there needs to be a greater awareness of who we are as American Indians, you know, I don't know where you'd gone to school. I know there's quite a few students or friends that I know that have gone to parochial schools and have done really well, you know finishing high school going on to college and and obtaining a four-year degree it moving on to you know, Advanced degrees. And even though I think my family in the community, I grew was treated rather. Well, however, there were just certain instances that I thought they could have done a little better, you know, when I had this potential and science. I just wish the counselors would have would have pushed and said well, maybe you should go to college. You're some classes you should take maybe advanced mathematics and I did take chemistry. And the only reason I took chemistry was my high school football coach who taught both chemistry and biology who believed in me. So I really appreciated his interest in me and helping me. Okay, you know, you talked about schools some of our reports focused on law enforcement and the Minnesota human rights department has had a number of complaints the word is they investigate fewer than 5% of complaints from Indians. What do you think should happen there? Yeah, I agree with some of the comments. I heard on your previous. Program here and they're absolutely right. I think we should take a little more active role in helping to ameliorate some of these disparities whether it's from traffic stops to the courts to imprisonment, you know, there is a great disparity and I don't think we're really taking a look at Why these conditions exist, you know, what is the real problem? Is that a real problem for alcoholism drug abuse, you know domestic abuse or whatever. I think those are just symptoms of something. That's Rudy deeper rooted in its racism and we're we aren't given the proper respect as any other citizen, you know, I think from the moment Columbus arrived in this hemisphere when he wrote in his journals, I found these natives to be naked and heathens was the first time racial profiling started and it's gotten worse since then. Okay, let's go back to the phone lines. Paul is calling from Virginia Paul. Hello. (00:36:19) Hello. Thanks for taking my call. I basically think that it's just time for the Indians to get over themselves. The people that got the shaft when this country was settled are dead. Now the people that did the abuse are also dead now giving Indians sovereignty over little chunks of land scattered Across. The Nation is Like A house divided against itself. And it's it's it's absurd if not impractical and this business about who's an Indian who isn't 1/4 1/3 1/2. It's becoming a state of mind. It's in your heart. It's all it's totally absurd now. I was born in this country and so were my parents. This makes me a Native American. Where's my free medical care? Where's my free education? Where's my free land? I think it's time for everybody to just to assimilate and get on with (00:37:09) life. Jodi your response to that. Okay. First of all, sovereignty wasn't given to the Indians. You'll have to know your history. You must have missed it in history class. The new country called the United States dealt with tribes as a Sovereign Nation and that's where the courts even today recognize that and tribes had their own memberships. They had their own way of dealing with civil matters and criminal matters, which is not in tune with the way Europeans think you know Europeans came over here to to worship as they would like to since they didn't get it and in England they come over here and implement the same thing whether it's taxes or looking at the way people worship. So tribes are sovereign long before the arrival of Europeans in as far as free education free medication at cetera Medical We prepaid for all the stuff by giving up our land if you want us to be like you you should talk to your legislators to pay us what it's really worth or give us our land back. You know, that's I really feel strongly about that. We don't get anything for nothing. You know, we don't get this stuff for nothing. It's prepaid buy the land from the Atlantic coast to the Pacific coast. Let me ask you a question since the this issue of sovereignty is coming up. What about the experience in Minnesota with some of the tribal governments? I mean, you heard somebody from the white Earth reservation saying that when your rights are violated on the reservation, your only recourse is to go to the same people who are violating your rights there have been problems with sovereignty on the reservation, right? Well, I don't think there's problems with sovereignty. I think it's you know when the Human Rights Act was enacted and the history goes back to 1832 on the way. The federal government works with tribes, you know recognizing tribal sovereignty. And when the 8th 1968 act came into fruition that it was broad enough. To to give the tribes there, you know the authority to enforce human rights on a strictly a tribal matter, you know recognizing that if they did anything more specific they drew erode tribal sovereignty and it was a fine line. There's kind of a dichotomy there on the way Congress interacts with tribal governments, you know historically since the 1800s Congress has recognized tribes as Sovereign and if they enact laws that erodes that you know in the protection so they gave that authority to the tribal governments. so the tribal governments I think really have the authority and responsibility to handle those matters, you know, it's not my business or is it the state of Minnesota has business on those reservations. It's the tribal governments and their evolution of a protecting their tribal members. Well, let's take another call Shirley is calling from Minneapolis Shirley. Hello. Welcome to midday. (00:40:40) Hi and thank you for having me as a guest with all due respect. Mr. Day. I am I have Indian as well and in Blood and me as well and I'm in my 50s. I have experienced throughout my lifetime. No, you know, no racial profiling or No Lack of support due to the fact that I was any particular race or ethnic identity ethnic background, and I'm going to address what you Had mentioned about schools and the lack of support that was given to you and the interest that you had in science. I too had a great deal of interest in journalism and in school, I think like everybody else. We never feel like we're given a hundred percent support. However, I had to look Within Myself and say even though I came from a poor background and I was of a different different ethnic background that I was self-motivated and I was the one that was going to make the difference for myself. I don't think schools are to look at anyone different ethnic culture and say that we should treat you differently. I think everyone in this country is to be treated equally and unless there is some coolness that is focused. And on you I do think that it's up to yourself to make your own way in life. My husband is Greek and his Parents all his ancestors came over here from Greece with not a cent in their pockets and they today are very successful because they have made their own way. And (00:42:29) what's have Joe day respond to that. Thanks Shirley. Well, I took responsibility for myself. I know I left Minnesota and got as far as away as I could and it up in California and after some tours in Vietnam. I came back and went to school and on a GI building worked all day and and went to night school and got a degree. So I was I think I'm pretty self-motivated. and I think if you grew up in Minneapolis or st. Paul or in San Francisco where I had gone to school. I think there's a different tolerance I think of minorities, you know, but I certainly in a small community in northern Minnesota. There's there's a difference in attitudes in a difference of I think awareness and education about cultural diversity in that's where I think racism really paying plays a larger role for the education or the lack of Of understanding about Indians really occurs. Let's take another call this one from Dell and Minneapolis Del. (00:43:42) Hello? Yeah. Hello. Yeah. Hi. Mr. Day. Who are you? I'd like to respond to probably the last two collars. I've been listening to I'm Native American myself on the Lakota a lot of the things that they talked about in terms of children within the school systems, you know our children that are in there now today a lot of them. Are lacking in terms of the knowledge the true knowledge in terms of our history within the United States the contributions. I mean, there's a little bit of it done but not within the history books and I think if that was done the truth being told in terms of how we are as a people that we were never defeated as a Red Nation. It wasn't us who came to the US government with the treaty. We didn't write the treaty up they came to us and asked us to sign a treaty, you know, and also the truth about Columbus and what he came and what he did to the Indian people in all prior to him coming we were over 100 million strong. And now what are we for four million somewhere around in there? So I think if they would get get that because I find out with my children, you know that there is no senses in terms of self esteem Pride within the school system and their history book all they talk about is the pilgrims this and this and Center is only like a paragraph describing what Native Americans are, you know, and there is no description of diversity among our people, you know that we are many many people different tribes and nations of people within a nation and the stair is stereotypical Society in a sense. Whereas we were seen as you know, we lacked motivation. We don't do this. We don't do that, you know, we can do these things, but we're not going to give up our spirit our nation. All right, Anna t as Indian (00:45:46) people. Okay. Thanks for the called l.joe. Anything you want to say about that? Yeah, I'm glad you brought that up because you know a discussion with some high-level officials in Minnesota at one time about that, you know asking him to go look in the Minnesota history book and what did he find? Well, there are two tribes your soon Dakota and were vmin enemies which is really not true. I mean we had ceremonies together. They were intermarriages and even the word Minnesota, you know was the actual meaning is a place of cloudy water or murky Water by the Dakota terms and words a Minnesota River and the Mississippi come together, but we kind of romanticize about Minnesota being a land of sky blue water and that's you know, there's a whole different connotation and you take a look at just about every county or city or Minneapolis itself is from native derivation, and we aren't really given The credit for you anything to do with the history of this country our state we only have about a minute left to go here. And I do want to remind everybody that this discussion is continuing on our website Minnesota Public Radio dot-org just click the little link for broken trust and there's an ongoing Forum there, but Joe just very briefly. Do you think things are getting better or worse in terms of this whole situation? Well, the thing I like about our community is I think we're We're really progressing in the area of making it through school getting Advanced degrees. But yet we have a long way to go and giving credit to the history of this country and then the status that we have in the there's the legislature the school systems. I think we're we're kind of invisible to everybody. Well, Joe day. Thanks very much. We're going to have to end it there. Minnesota Public Radio listeners connect to business technology and the world from home and work for more information about turning NPR listeners into your customers. Call Sarah at 651290 1249. Members are our single most important source of income. Thank you for your continued support. It's Spring in Minnesota. And it's time to air out the Studio's if you've ever wanted to see the inside of Minnesota Public Radio st. Paul headquarters. This is it Saturday May 5th is our open house your chance to see our Studios meet the on are hosts and satisfy your curiosity about NPR 250. Lucky guests will get the chance to tour the Fitzgerald theater and watch rehearsal for that evening performance of A Prairie Home Companion, Minnesota Public Radio opens, its house to the public Saturday May 5th for details. Go to Minnesota Public Radio dot-org.


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