Food for Thought
The White Earth Indian reservation abuts the small community where I grew up. The wooded landscape dotted with lakes and marshes typifies the beauty of northern Minnesota. It also provides cover for the crushing poverty which is so prevalent on reservations throughout this country. Amidst the trees, rundown campers or mobile homes dotted the landscape. Rusted out trucks or station wagons were strewn throughout the woods. In school, one always knew who lived on the rez because of the tattered clothes they wore. As a child, I was often witness to discrimination toward Native Americans who lived on the reservation. Slurs, dismissals of “them” or “those people”, and statements about the worth or initiative of Native Americans were the most common expressions. These comments were the soft bigotry of harder, systemic racism that was alive and well in northern Minnesota. And still is.
Click here for the complete newsletter.