March 01, 2007

Indians terminating themselves

Tribal leader:  Wis. Indians are in an era of 'self termination'American Indians in Wisconsin are in an era of "self termination," the tribal chairwoman of the Red Cliff Band of Lake Superior Chippewa told state lawmakers at the annual State of the Tribes speech Thursday.

"Bigotry, racism is still alive and well," said Patricia R. DePerry, who has served as tribal chairwoman since 2005. "We ourselves need a lot of work as well. We are in a self termination era. Excuse me, we don't need your help to get us there. We are doing it to ourselves."

After the speech, DePerry said the state's tribes are in danger of self terminating because they are not united in their priorities, are disengaged with one another and generally do not work well together.

"We should act as one, not divided," she said. "The various tribes in the state of Wisconsin, we can still stand as one."

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