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White Earth Tribal Chairwoman Erma Vizenor explains to Beltrami County commissioners on Tuesday the need for a chemical dependency facility for American Indian youth. The White Earth Band of Ojibwe plans to open Jan. 1 such a facility at the former Archdeacon Gilfillan Center in Bemidji. At right is tribal prosecutor Joe Plummer. (Brad Swenson/Bemidji Pioneer)

White Earth to open youth treatment center in Bemidji on New Year's Day

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BEMIDJI -"The best investment any of us can ever make is in our youth," White Earth Tribal Chairwoman Erma Vizenor told Beltrami County commissioners Tuesday.

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The state Department of Corrections, in a study of Twin Cities youth, found that 47 percent of the youth in the juvenile corrections system were American Indian, way higher than the 2 percent of the Minnesota population that is American Indian, she said.

"We're losing our future," Vizenor said.

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