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ERIC Number: EJ762803
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2005-Aug-25
Pages: 5
Abstractor: ERIC
Reference Count: N/A
ISBN: N/A
ISSN: ISSN-1557-5411
Setting the Record Straight
Boulard, Garry
Diverse: Issues in Higher Education, v22 n14 p52-56 Aug 2005
Dr. Jon Quistgaard, president of Bemidji State University (BSU), is unhappy with the way the national media has portrayed the Red Lake Indian Reservation in northern Minnesota, the nearby city of Bemidji and American Indian life in general. That such coverage is even a matter of discussion is the result of a tragedy: On March 21, Jeffrey Weise, a 16-year-old student at the reservation's Red Lake High School, went on a shooting rampage inside the school, killing nine people before turning his gun on himself. The national media descended on both Red Lake and Bemidji in the days and weeks after the slayings. In many cases, reporters who were unfamiliar with the area and its people described the reservation and its outlying areas in terms that many residents considered either offensive or exaggerated. "The media reports also characterized the surrounding region as devoid of resources, sensitivity and prosperity," Quistgaard wrote in a column for the St. Paul Pioneer Press on May 24, adding that "these narrow perceptions overshadow the numerous strengths of the tribe and the larger Bemidji area community, which are inexorably linked." For many American Indians, the media coverage of the Red Lake reservation tragedy is only the most recent example of what is often viewed as an inadequate understanding of modern reservation life in particular and tribal culture in general by the outside world. American Indian educators have also been particularly frustrated over the notion that reservation life is one that is largely devoid of higher education opportunities, when in fact there are more than 30 tribal colleges nationally, the vast majority of which offer two-year degrees. To enhance access opportunities for American Indians, BSU has launched an ambitious recruitment effort among area reservations. Quistgaard says that they have to reach out and make sure potential students in these areas know about higher education opportunities. Their job is made somewhat easier by the existence of the tribal colleges, and the fact that they have articulation agreements with them.
Cox, Matthews and Associates. 10520 Warwick Avenue Suite B-8, Fairfax, VA 20170. Tel: 800-783-3199; Tel: 703-385-2981; Fax: 703-385-1839; e-mail: subscriptions@cmapublishing.com; Web site: http://www.diverseeducation.com
Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Descriptive
Education Level: Higher Education
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers - Location: Minnesota