Sen. Coleman: Proud of record on Indian issues
"As your senator, it has always been my No. 1 priority to stay connected with the people of Minnesota and bring their voices to the nation and the world. I have made repeat-ed trips to all 87 counties in Minnesota, and over the past six years, along with my staff, have visited all 853 cities in our state. I try my best to meet with a wide range of Minnesotans both in Washington and in Minnesota, and when I am not available my staff represents me at these meetings and briefs me on them.

As such, I believe last Sunday’s editorial poorly reflects my record of working with all Minnesotans, which includes the native Americans who are also citizens of the 11 tribal governments around the state. Contrary to what was suggested in these pages, I did visit the Red Lake Reservation following the tragedy that occurred there in 2005, and in its aftermath, I worked to secure needed federal resources and establish a Boys & Girls Club on the reservation. I have also visited the Prairie Island, White Earth and Fond du Lac reservations, and this May I met with members of the Leech Lake Tribal Council at the Chippewa National Forest headquarters to discuss a variety of natural resource issues.

Moreover, I have personally met with tribal government representatives more than 15 times in my Minnesota and Washington offices, and my staff has met with them on countless other occasions. In September 2004, I was proud to host a reception in my office, open to all tribes in Minnesota, to celebrate the grand opening of the National Museum of the American Indian and honor their distinguished heritage."

Get the Story:
Letter: Coleman proud of record on Indian issues (The Bemidji Pioneer 10/23)

Related Stories:
Editorial: Republicans absent in Indian Country (10/20)