FROM THE ARCHIVE
Yellow Bird: Columnist 'put his foot in his mouth'
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TUESDAY, APRIL 1, 2003

"Lloyd Omdahl, as my mother would say, certainly put his foot in his mouth this time. I am talking about Omdahls' Herald column, "Time for a Native billionaire".

Omdahl says Native people should "shake off the shackles of paranoia" and "victimization" - stop whining, in other words. Don't focus on the grievances of the past. Join all the other minority races who are looking ahead. Stop depriving yourselves, the tribe, state and nation of your talents. Where are the Native American billionaires? Omdahl asks.

Where Omdahl and I differ is in our views of whether billions of dollars should be a measure of how one contributes to society. Oprah Winfrey and, I would guess, people such as billionaire Ralph Engelstad are his role models. My heroes are Native American men and women who contribute significantly to society by giving of themselves every day, year after year. The money they earn isn't accumulated, but goes easily into the community - for them, "investment" means "helping each other."

Many Native people live simple lives. Isn't that a life style taught in the Christian theology? Isn't there a quote in the Bible about a rich man, a camel and a needle?"

Get the Story:
COLUMNIST DORREEN YELLOW BIRD: Natives already are billionaires -- in spirit (The Grand Forks Herald 4/1)

Lloyd Omdahl Column:
Opinion: Don't confine Indian youth to reservation (3/31)

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