Sunday, June 1, 2014
From Bemidji Pioneer...
Anishinaabeg are an economic force in Bemidji
By Curtis and Nicole Buckanaga on May 31, 2014 at 11:16 p.m.
Bemidji is losing its sense of community.
Bemidji has become an economic hub that thrives on the poverty of the Anishinaabeg.
This city is essentially taking advantage of social service programs, low-income subsidies and fines from Anishinaabeg that have been criminalized by poverty by discrimination.
Racist discrimination stimulates a large portion of Bemidji's economy.
Thousands of us working class Anishinaabeg spend our hard-earned money within this city; therefore, we need to be conscious and dignified and entertain a comprehensive boycott that identifies workforces of certain businesses that do not reflect the demography of Bemidji.
Bemidji is a city in denial of its normalized, systematic and institutional racism. The tides of apathy are receding that have been contrived by corrupt and oppressive state, local and tribal politicians who sit shiftlessly in elected positions and are fundamentally manipulating our downtrodden, traumatized people.
We Anishinaabeg are an economic force here; therefore, we need to assert ourselves to achieve the quality of life we struggle for against the absurdities of racism and ignorance every day as we live and shop here in Bemidji.
We don't have to spend our money where they won't hire us, or even where they don't treat us with respect.
We should hit them in their pockets and support those businesses that do respect us as human beings.
Due to the three largest Ojibwe nations in this state surrounding the city of Bemidji, as well as the numerous Anishinaabeg who travel here to seek work and a better quality of life, Bemidji is a highly populated with us Anishinaabeg. Not to mention the thousands of surrounding reservation residents who venture into the city every day for goods and services only to witness that we are not equitably integrated into the workforce.
It is only reasonable that our people occupy one job for every four jobs here in Bemidji.
Why? Because we need jobs, too. We deserve a decent quality of life, too. We deserve a chance and opportunity, too.
After all, Bemidji is historically an indigenous community.
We shared this community with our white counterparts, taught them how to live off this land and shared our languages. We, Anishinaabeg, need to support one another to reclaim our dignity and our identity within our community here in Bemidji because to us, this is still our Bemichiigamaag, our home; where we need stand together to assert our right to living wage jobs.
Curtis and Nicole Buckanaga