May 16, 2007

Turtle Mountain bans blogger

Blogger bannedFriday, the Turtle Mountain tribal council banished North Dakota political blogger Rob Port from the reservation after a column critical of the reservation appeared in a state political magazine.

Port, of Minot, is webmaster for, a political Web site.

The tribal resolution says Port's column was "injurious to the peace and seriously threatens the general welfare, health, safety, political security and prosperity of the Turtle Mountain Band of Chippewa, its members, and other tribes in the state of North Dakota."

Port is under fire for a column that ran in the January issue of The Dakota Beacon, a political magazine published monthly in North Dakota. The column also appears on Port's blog.

Titled "The Appalling State of North Dakota Indian Reservations," the column stems from Port's daylong experience at the Turtle Mountain reservation, where he says he spent about 15 hours "going around neighborhoods and knocking on doors."

In his column, Port talks about the conditions of the homes he saw and the people he came into contact with while on the Turtle Mountain reservation.

He writes that living conditions on the reservation are "abhorrent" and continues with: "Most of us would probably consider living in a squalid apartment in a nasty housing complex a pretty serious consequence for not getting ahead in life, but it seems to me as though most of these Indians are perfectly content to live there. Probably because they don't know any better. They were likely raised in housing projects by their parents, who in turn were probably raised in housing projects themselves."

Port's column also calls for an end to reservations and "cradle-to-grave entitlements."
Comment:  This banishment is apparently a response to the column I just posted in the Stereotype of the Month contest:

ND Indians live in "pure filth"; rez system is a "total failure"

But the column I posted wasn't quite as harsh, believe it or not. So Port may have sanitized it for public consumption.

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