March 30th, 2009
Tribal citizens who live in or near Bemidji, Minnesota, say they have experienced discrimination. But most non-Indians hold the opposite view and say everything is alright.
According to the Shared Visions study, 75 percent of Indians who live in Bemidji say the city is not welcoming to people of all races. For those who live on nearby reservations, the figure rose to 90 percent.
Nearly half of Indian respondents said they regularly experience discrimination in retail stores and by law enforcement. Half said they faced discrimination in employment and in housing.
In comparison, 80 percent of non-Indians felt race relations were fair or good in the city. Three-quarters said they want to know more about Indian culture.
Bemidji is near the Red Lake, Leech Lake and White Earth reservations. About 12 percent of the population is Indian.
Survey shows race relations problems in Bemidji (Minnesota Public Radio 3/23)
Mutual respect: Group seeks pro-active approach to race relations (The Bemidji Pioneer 3/23)