Yellow Bird: Leaps in America's multiracial society

"When I read about the death on Friday of Mildred Jeter Loving, who is known for the landmark U.S. Supreme Court case that struck down laws against interracial marriage, it was as if this story was from some foreign country — bizarre and archaic. Yet the case was ruled on by the court only about 40 years ago — June 12, 1967, to be exact.

That’s a relatively short time in our history and an indication that we are moving in the right direction.

But as I started writing this column, I remembered the Wacipi held in April. On Saturday of the powwow, the medical school honored its American Indian graduates. As I walked along the lines shaking hands with the new doctors and nurses who would go into our communities, I saw that one of the female graduates was wearing a veil. I wondered if the Indians into Medicine or INMED program now was accepting non-Indians.

Later, I learned that she is a White Mountain Apache woman, married to an Egyptian. She converted to Islam.

There’s no stopping this period of change.

When I lived with my parents and grandparents just north of the Missouri River, my world was rural, somewhat closed and consisted mostly of Indian people. In the headlines today, I can see the leap we’ve made. We have a black candidate, Barack Obama, who is a top contender for president of the U.S. and one of the leaders in the world. Remember, his parents were a white woman from Kansas and a black man from Kenya."

Get the Story:
Multiracial nation keeps evolving (The Grand Forks Herald 5/7)

More Dorreen Yellow Bird:
Yellow Bird: Diversity in the United States (5/5)
Yellow Bird: Pollution a threat to North Dakota (4/30)
Yellow Bird: Program graduates Indian nurses at UND (4/21)
Yellow Bird: Recovering from brain aneurysm surgery (4/17)
Yellow Bird: A fight for oil on the reservation (03/31)
Yellow Bird: Excitement in North Dakota's weather (3/26)
Yellow Bird: Thoughts on Sen. Obama and race (3/24)
Yellow Bird: Pray for rain in western North Dakota (3/19)
Yellow Bird: Grandchildren are the greatest gift (3/17)
Yellow Bird: UND powwow survives budget woes (3/10)
Yellow Bird: Stereotypes and Hillary Clinton (3/5)
Yellow Bird: Celebrating 125 years of UND history (3/3)
Yellow Bird: High hopes for Indian health bill (2/28)
Yellow Bird: More Plains foods that are good for you (2/25)
Yellow Bird: Chokecherries, the wonder fruit (2/20)
Yellow Bird: Sadness on a trip to Standing Rock (2/18)
Yellow Bird: It's time for a change in music (2/11)
Yellow Bird: 'Sioux' drives Indian students away (2/7)
Yellow Bird: Another cold January in North Dakota (1/30)
Yellow Bird: Tribal casinos should be alcohol free (1/28)
Yellow Bird: Race and gender in presidential race (1/23)
Yellow Bird: Barack Obama is my choice for 2008 (1/16)
Yellow Bird: Artman right on off-reservation gaming (1/9)
Yellow Bird: Barack Obama's big win in Iowa (1/7)