Advertise:   712.224.5420

Column: Media gets crash course in sovereignty

"In one bloody and awful day, the reservation got more attention than at any time in its 116 years. And some of it was from people who seemed annoyed at how hard it was to get to Red Lake and who had probably never met an Indian before, let alone set foot on a sovereign reservation where Indians set the rules.

'Did you say you're the 'tribal leader?'' one guy with a microphone asked Red Lake Chairman Floyd Jourdain Jr., who was weary with exhaustion and from repeating the basic crash course guide to Indian Country.

'This is Indian land,' Jourdain repeated, over and over. 'You are our guests. We are a federal entity without state laws and, as far as we are concerned, some of the last Indian land on the planet.'

Yes, yes, the impatient media man said. 'But some of us have been to school shootings across the country ...'

He must've realized how stupid that sounded, because, after an awkward and self-conscious beat, he added 'unfortunately.' But what he needed to know was when would Red Lake hold a memorial for the shooting victims? Because in other towns when people are cut down in cold blood, there are flowers and candles and visitors who come and build emotionally moving tributes.

Jourdain looked as if he were about to exercise tribal sovereignty and remove this guy on the spot."

Get the Story:
Nick Coleman: Modern-day mayhem finds the edge of the world (The Minneapolis Star Tribune 3/23)

Relevant Links:
Red Lake Net News -
Red Lake Nation -
Red Lake High School -

Related Stories:
Shooting at Red Lake Reservation leaves 10 dead (3/22)