Opinion: 'Lost Youth' series was poor journalism

"By now it should be obvious that the three-part series "The Lost Youth of Leech Lake" struck a nerve, particularly among Leech Lake Ojibwe and other Minnesota Natives. When was the last time you heard about a newspaper story inspiring public demonstrations and conferences?

By my count, objections to the series have basically centered on the way it 1) focused on the worst of the worst, 2) completely ignoring happy, healthy (not to mention law-abiding) teenagers at Leech Lake; 3) generalizing the sorry state of affairs to an entire community, thus 4) contributing to another generation of stereotypes of drunken Indians, deadbeat parents and dangerous teens. Since the series also called into question the wisdom of the Indian Child Welfare Act (without discussing its historical legislative purpose) and hinted that "federal funding" is mishandled by the tribe (without offering any proof), we can add that the stories 5) implicitly attacked the sovereignty and self-determination of Leech Lake and other Indian nations."

Get the Story:
Scott Lyons: Leech Lake storytelling was poor journalism (The Minneapolis Star Tribune 6/5)

Full Series:
The lost youth of Leech Lake | Slide Shows | Discussion Forum | About this series | Editor's Note

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Opinion: Tribal families have no support system (5/3)
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