Opinion: Blogger harmed Turtle Mountain Band
An open letter to Tony Bender, president of the North Dakota Newspaper Association, from Andy Laverdure, a member of the Turtle Mountain Band of Chippewa Indians.

"Your most recent article decrying the banishment action taken by the Turtle Mountain Tribe against Rob Port is off mark. You state that the action “did more to discredit the tribal council than it did to discredit Port." How so?

You misconstrue the intent of the banishment action. If you actually lived on the reservation and witnessed or experienced the hurt and harm caused not only to the tribe itself, but to tribal residents (Indian and non-Indian), you would realize that the banishment action was necessary and appropriate. The action primarily served to bring the issue to the forefront and to spotlight the tribe’s disgust at the insult.

The banishment action does not restrict Rob Port’s free speech in any way whatsoever. Can you tell me how this is possible? Rob still has his blog site. He still works with Steve Cates and the Dakota Beacon. He still apparently and appallingly has the ears of the North Dakota Newspaper Association.

In your article, Mr. Bender, you state “a real opportunity to educate and refute any misconception is being squandered” and that tribal membership should “use this opportunity to tell this story from the perspective of the tribe." You let me know where the story can be told, who should tell the story, and how it should be told."

Get the Story:
Andy Laverdure,: Chippewa responds to North Dakota editorial (Censored Blog/Brenda Norrell 5/31)

Relevant Links:
Turtle Mountain Band of Chippewa Indians - http://www.tmbci.net

Related Stories:
Opinion: Blogger ban discredits Turtle Mountain Band (5/28)
Yellow Bird: Blogger lacks facts about Indian life (5/22)
Blogger: Turtle Mountain Band bans dissent (5/18)
Editorial: Blogger banned and Turtle Mountain Band (5/17)
Turtle Mountain Band bans blogger for comments (5/16)