Native Americans

Recent Articles

The quest for health equity is lifelong

In 2002, April was designated as Minority Health Month to increase awareness about health disparities that exist for people of color. Even though April 2014 Minority Health Month is now past, we must continue to address health disparities head on every month of the year. Health disparities exist when certain segments of the population have higher rates of preventable diseases and mortality. Many populations are affected by disparities, including racial and ethnic minorities, residents of rural areas, women, children, the elderly, and persons with disabilities. In a recent report to the MN legislature on health equity, the MN Department of Health stated that although Minnesota is deemed one of the healthiest states, African Americans and American Indians in the state have continued to experience higher rates of preventable disease as well as reduced life expectancy. Continue Reading →

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U of M study: Race matters most in determining who breathes bad air

The Twin Cities earn yet another racial disparities distinction
 

By Isaac Peterson
Contributing Writer

In April, researchers at the University of Minnesota released a study showing that people of color in the U.S. typically breathe air that is 38 percent more polluted compared to their White counterparts. The study concluded that race and income are major contributing factors in how much polluted air is breathed, but that race matters more than income. Using satellite observations, data from the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), and maps of land uses, the research team was able to compare the geographic data with Census figures to determine socioeconomic disparities in air pollution exposure. The study was national in scope and provided information on air pollution on a nationwide basis, broken down to show comparisons between urban and rural areas as well by city, county, and state. The pollutant the study tracked was nitrogen dioxide (NO2), one of the main pollutants targeted by the EPA, which considers it one of the most significant threats to air quality. Continue Reading →

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The Washington mascot solution is simple: Change the name!

No U.S. professional team since 1963 has established new mascots or nicknames that use racial stereotypes. Yet the Washington pro football team, which played here last week, continues its offensive nickname and logo. Current team owner Dan Snyder, when asked last May, told USA Today that he will “never” change the team nickname. His refusal, as well as virtually ignoring a new resolution by the District of Columbia City Council urging the team to change its name, as well as a U.S. House bill introduced that would amend the 1946 Trademark Act, banning the term and canceling all trademark registrations of the current nickname, is downright disappointing and insulting. We condemn Mr. Snyder’s stubbornness, greediness or both along with his argument against changing a name that originated and maintained for over eight decades, since 1932, “a legacy of racism” by the team’s late founder George Preston Marshall in. Continue Reading →

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Washington football team should drop the “R” word

 

Marc H. Morial

Guest Commentator

 

“At a moment when President Obama and Republican leaders remain deeply divided, this week saw them come to a bipartisan agreement on one thing: It is time for Washington’s NFL team to stop using a racial slur and to finally change its name” — Oneida Indian Nation radio ad. This past Sunday, as Dallas and Washington revived their annual NFL football rivalry, they also found themselves in the middle of an escalating fight over the name of the Washington football team. In fact, as part of its “Change the Mascot” campaign; the Oneida Indian Nation is running radio ads in Dallas and the other cities where the Washington football team is playing this year calling for DC’s team to drop the “R” word from its name. This is all part of a larger movement among civil rights organizations and political leaders from both the left and right who correctly point out that the term “Redskins” is a racial slur. Suzan Shown Harjo, a Native American woman who lives in Washington and directs the Morning Star Institute, has been leading this fight and others like it since the 1960s. Continue Reading →

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No candidates of color for Mpls Park Board elections

MPRB commissioners make ‘huge decisions’ affecting Black youth
 

By Charles Hallman

Staff Writer

 

 

All nine Minneapolis Park and Recreation Board (MPRB)commissioner seats are up for election this fall. The group regularly makes fiduciary and other key decisions about the city parks, community centers, and other recreation activities. Although the candidate filing deadline is still over a month away, at this point it appears there will be no Blacks vying for the positions for the first time since 2009. “If we knew [someone], we would support them,” said local AARP President Charles Mays. Asked why more city Blacks aren’t showing as much interest in the Park Board elections as in the mayoral and city council elections, Mays suggested, “I don’t think they realize how important a position on the Park Board is.”

Blacks are more concerned about education and not so much about parks, believes Mary Merrill Anderson, a former MPRB commissioner. Continue Reading →

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A skeptical take on the Boston tragedy

 

 

The tragic bombing that occurred at the Boston Marathon cannot be looked at in only black and white terms. Conspiracy theorists and political hacks are having a heyday with this. I am content with saying I don’t know what exactly happened or why the bombing took place. History tells me that when one is dealing with the U.S. government and the free marketers, who place profit and power before people, almost anything is possible. But the bombing does raise some questions and some eyebrows! Like some other folks, the announcement that the authorities were looking for a “dark-skinned” suspect made me go, “Uh-oh.” It was a curious description considering that the suspects are really Caucasians. Continue Reading →

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New research exposes Detroit’s pre-Underground Railroad history

The beleaguered city’s slavery past suggests much about its potential future
 
By Charles Hallman

Staff Writer

 

Detroit historically has been known as a key stop in the Underground Railroad, visited by Blacks escaping from slavery in the South. However, a University of Michigan professor’s current research reveals that by no means were all of the slaves in Detroit passing through to freedom, even when slavery there was illegal. “Slaves in Detroit were not as interesting [to historians] as slaves in the South,” said University of Michigan Professor Tiya Miles at the 19th annual David Noble Lecture April 9 at the University of Minnesota’s Weisman Art Museum. The city originally was founded in 1701 as a fort first owned by the French; then it was acquired by the English until the time that it became a part of the U.S. Northwest Territories. “It [was] intended to be a settlement, not just a military trading post,” explained Miles, who began researching Detroit’s history three years ago. Continue Reading →

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No wonder East African students say they don’t feel safe at school

 

We humans have been blaming and scapegoating the most vulnerable minority group among us for thousands of years: It’s an age-old tradition. I recently overheard a man say, “Yeah, the West Bank area in Minneapolis used to be a nice neighborhood, but then the East Africans moved in.”

Well, now he knows how Native Americans felt when the White man moved into Dakota Territory and ruined their neighborhoods. At least the newly arrived East Africans have come in peace and not forced us off the land and given us some desolate, windblown reservation in South Dakota to live on. When the police showed up at South High School to break up the “food fight,” students in the lunch room said the police only went after the East African students. The East African students took the full brunt of the police response. Continue Reading →

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Obama linking Selma to Stonewall divides Black community

 

President Barack Obama’s inaugural address was the most inclusive speech a president has ever given. It was delivered on the 27th anniversary of Martin Luther King, Jr. Day, and the president honored King’s legacy when he eloquently spoke of how the many U.S. liberation movements, both current and historic, are interconnected. “We, the people, declare today that the most evident of truths — that all of us are created equal — is the star that guides us still; just as it guided our forebears through Seneca Falls, and Selma, and Stonewall.”

As an African American lesbian, whose identity is linked to all three movements, I felt affirmed. I applaud the president’s courageous pronouncement. Some African Americans, however, felt “dissed” by the president’s speech. Continue Reading →

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