Letter: Vizenor 'appalled' at Bellcourt letter, Record
It is appalling that a letter like the one written by Ray Bellcourt in the May 8 Becker County Record was printed for your readers.
There is enough negative news about the White Earth Indian Reservation (crime reports, drug busts, and assaults) in this newspaper without printing false accusations and outrageous allegations that have no merit or truth.
We, as current leaders of the White Earth Tribe, do not embezzle or steal. Tribal elections are fair and open.
And yes, like any other government, the Tribal Council has rules of order for our meetings that are open to the public. Normal, reasonable people understand that appropriate conduct, respect, and order are necessary in this society.
Because the elected leadership of the White Earth Tribe has been stable, credible, ethical, and hard working, our tribal government is one of the most progressive tribes in the state and country.
Finances are sound and accountable. Everywhere there is progress at White Earth, both systemically and visually, even during these difficult economic times.
I invite your newspaper to cover the positive news at White Earth, such as the groundbreakings for a new $16 million K-12 school, a $1 million Women's Shelter, Phase I construction of the new Tribal College campus in Mahnomen, a new Spiritual and Cultural Center on White Earth Lake, construction of 30 new homes, and the grand openings for the $800,000 renovation of former tribal headquarters that will be home to the Health Department and the $700,000 restoration of the old run down Depot in Detroit Lakes.
In August, U.S. Sens. Al Franken and Byron Dorgan of the Senate Indian Affairs Committee will conduct a hearing on Indian education, health care, and public safety at White Earth. The tribes of Minnesota will be invited. My initiative has made the hearing possible. I hope you are there. -- Erma J. Vizenor
(Vizenor is tribal Chairwoman of the White Earth Nation of Ojibwe Indians)