Bemidji Pioneer: Look hard at crime on the reservations

Aug 28, 2009 Full story: Star Tribune 9

The Associated Press carried a rather sobering report last week about new federal efforts to combat tribal crime.

Full Story
banderson

Duluth, MN

#1 Sep 1, 2009
As an enrolled member of the Fond du Lac Band, I have been both personally and professionally involved w/those, both Native and non, young and old, surrounded by poverty, violence, and incarceration both through educational and legal systems. The financial and human resources that have been afforded to our own Band members, both off and on the reservation is tempered by the political powers that be. The sovereign nation has the power within themselves to seek decency, truth, and success within the people. I find this doesn't happen through lack of self assessment and only then when there are funding avenues available, the RBC will visit an area of concern, and even then, do not take measures to address the issues head on. I am very concerned to see the many cases in which our children will remain in poverty. LEADERSHIP is crucial.

Since: Feb 08

Location hidden

#2 Sep 1, 2009
Maybe simply disbanding all reservations and integrating them into AMERICAN society would do us all a favor,hind sight is 20/20.
banderson

Duluth, MN

#3 Sep 1, 2009
rusty61 wrote:
Maybe simply disbanding all reservations and integrating them into AMERICAN society would do us all a favor,hind sight is 20/20.
Thank you for your reply. I wasn't sure as to the intent of the comment, but understanding we are all citizens of the United States, the concept of integration has always been there, termed more assimilation as all those who have traveled to our shores have had to do. Locations of where any of us reside are choices based upon numerous reasons. E.G.: families, jobs, wealth, personal preference warm/cold, communities, schools, and many other reasons. The reservations are areas in which the Native Americans were given by the federal government to reside on. For me, I choose not to reside on the reservation due to educational choices for my children. It is wonderful that all of us have that choice to live where we want to set roots down.
Black Gran Prix

Haines City, FL

#4 Sep 1, 2009
Bravo banderson. You do an excellant job of discussing the issues without anger and resentment. I worked very closely with reservation youth for years and was very frustrated by the lack of leadership portrayed on the reservations. The sad fact is that there seems to be a generational disconnect that occurred in the last 20-40 years. I saw very proud elders who wanted to help their grandchildren learn the ways of the American Indian people but poverty, high crime rates and drug/alcohol issues derailed many projects. Sadly many of these elders raised children who now as adults are alcoholics or drug addicts and cannot raise their own children. The leadership of the reservations needs to grab hold of the issues and actually do something about it. The amount of federal dollars that are poured into reservations for services in huge and yet the violent crimes occuring on the reservations are out of control and if the current leadership cannot handle it then I do believe that the Feds need to step in and take control. Not permanently but the cyclical effect of abuse, alcoholism, suicide, violence and then all over again is destroying the children on the reservations. I hope the leaders can get it together. I know dozens of American Indians who grew up off the reservation and many of them have managed to avoid the alcoholism/drug abuse and made successful lives. I mean nothing in this comment as disrespectful, I am only writing what I have witnessed.

Since: Feb 08

Location hidden

#5 Sep 1, 2009
banderson wrote:
<quoted text>
Thank you for your reply. I wasn't sure as to the intent of the comment, but understanding we are all citizens of the United States, the concept of integration has always been there, termed more assimilation as all those who have traveled to our shores have had to do. Locations of where any of us reside are choices based upon numerous reasons. E.G.: families, jobs, wealth, personal preference warm/cold, communities, schools, and many other reasons. The reservations are areas in which the Native Americans were given by the federal government to reside on. For me, I choose not to reside on the reservation due to educational choices for my children. It is wonderful that all of us have that choice to live where we want to set roots down.
If we had more leaders that thought like yourself and bgp maybe things would go in the right direction,i truly appreciate your candor on this matter,but the facts remain by allowing goverment to run things like reservations we can see the outcome of many things they control ,by allowing it to continue both are to take blame.,intigration seems to be the best solution as it is working for vast majority of the nation.
res police officer

Phoenix, AZ

#6 Sep 1, 2009
well said banderson.
banderson

Duluth, MN

#7 Sep 2, 2009
I thank everyone for responding to my concerns. I am in the process of trying to have discussions/forums such as these to share positive solutions. I cannot express enough the role honest, strong leadership can play in changing some of those things that can be changed! Recent incident had occurred within our Fond du Lac Ojibwe School (K-12th w/mainly our Native children) in which I, along w/our principal and Special Education Director had been reprimanded for following the rules. We were denied our 14th Amendment right of due process by the RBC along w/Indian Civil Rights Act 1968 rights afforded us. The RBC refused to acknowledge any rights or the truth. This is, like many stories we have all experienced with reservation government, the reason I want to see effective change happen. This incident in which a male 9th grade student had made a terrioristic threat to make a pipe bomb, and place it in the principal's car to blow her up, was addressed by one of his RBC's relative not to address the "act" the student threatened. Instead we had filed a grievance against the principal (she did not bring charges against him), myself and the Special Education Director. The principal and myself in pursuing the grievance to be heard are no longer received a contract for employment. This behavior and action by our government perpetuates the violence on/off the reservation because of the poor examples they portray. My background is legal, therefore my actions are law abiding with common sense. My actions and beliefs are applicable to my strong advocacy of children, youth, and families. I have seen much success when dealing w/issues others are facing, when I have applied honesty, ethics, and expectations. This story in the Bemidji Pioneer had reflected on the concerns that were raised when they said meetings were going to be held with reservation leaders. They are part of the problem at times instead of being part of the solution. POLITICS can be ugly even when it creates violence and poverty.:)
rez police

United States

#8 Jan 5, 2010
well said..
Voice of reason

Bemidji, MN

#9 May 5, 2010
rusty61 wrote:
<quoted text>If we had more leaders that thought like yourself and bgp maybe things would go in the right direction,i truly appreciate your candor on this matter,but the facts remain by allowing goverment to run things like reservations we can see the outcome of many things they control ,by allowing it to continue both are to take blame.,intigration seems to be the best solution as it is working for vast majority of the nation.
What a stoke of luck! If you know anything about the Policy of the Federal government, you would know that you have to have 1/4 Native blood in a recognized tribe to be considered "native" american. Well, unless you marry someone who is at least 1/4 blood of your OWN tribe, your children will not be considered "native american". So, thanks to smallpox and influenza, indian wars, genocide, assimilation and integration, there really isn't too many FULL BLOODED Native Americans left. So, in a way - this will eventually work itself out, as we are flat running out of indians. So, sleep with a smile on your face and a song in your heart, that within a few hundred years, the only indians around will be in storybooks....

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