By Kevin Abourezk
Hunter didn't question that construction of the airport would fall under the provision of rebuilding infrastructure, one of the stated goals of the federal stimulus act. However, Hunter questioned whether a new airport was what was most needed on the Rosebud Sioux Reservation, "where alcoholism and poverty are pervasive, education is substandard and healthcare quality is questioned."
While failing to support his assertions with facts or statistics, Hunter continued to rail on the horrendous conditions of the reservation.
"Since many tribal members don't have enough money to buy a used car or the gasoline for it, we would guess that there are a limited number of private or corporate airplanes at Rosebud," he wrote.
And that's where Hunter revealed his ignorance.
Rosebud Tribal President Rodney M. Bordeaux retorted in a column this week on Indianz.com, saying some tribal members are so angry over Hunter's "derogatory racial stererotypes" they are considering legal action.
"If the only factual support for these statements are the gut feelings of whoever ‘we' are, why not simply say all Native Americans are alcoholic, poor, lazy, and uneducated people?" Bordeaux wrote.
As Bordeaux pointed out, the airport will allow the tribe to transport critically ill patients from the reservation to larger hospitals. A significantly smaller airport on the reservation is barely able to support the more than 270 flights a year that take patients to hospitals beyond the tribe's borders. Construction of the airport will create about 150 jobs, thus meeting a very clear goal of the stimulus act: job creation.