Republican Party of Minnesota
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Minnesota GOP Deputy Chairwoman's Corner...

Boozhoo! Gidanamikooninim. Gidapiitendaagoz.

Which, in Ojibwe, means Hello! Greetings to all. You are important.

Over the past few weeks as the DFL has rolled out the new flag change, I have been acutely reminded of my Native American heritage. As a member of the Red Lake Tribe, it certainly seems that Native Americans have again been erased from history with the new state flag.

Surprisingly - or maybe unsurprisingly - in this cancel culture environment, Walz and the DFL have figured out how to erase Native Americans just as the 1950's government policies tried to do. The term "Vanishing Indian" was born after the contributions - and existence - of the American Indians were discounting and eliminating. This way of erasing any trace of Native contributions to society - or more bluntly, any trace of us - is brought to my mind by the new ill-advised and ill-conceived state flag. It is a promotion by the DFL of another "cancel culture" effort. And with Minnesota home to eleven federally recognized Tribes, what an insult and an affront to the sacrifices and contributions Minnesota Native Americans made in crafting this great state and our great country.

Recall that the 1983 legislative change included a Native American "riding due south and represents the great Indian heritage of Minnesota" (MN Statute 1.135 Subd.5). In Native American culture, the southern cardinal direction honors summer and youth; symbolizes warmth, growth, a great abundance; and thus brings additional meaning to the symbol. The cardinal direction south (in Ojibwe, "Zhawanong") reminds us that we must together nurture the place we call home. What a great way to promote the importance of Native American culture to all Minnesotans!

The new flag is not a surprise to those who are aware of the great efforts made during cultural revolutions. Remnants and reminders of history must be erased. A new narrative must replace the past. Once again, Native Americans bear the brunt of the dominant culture's short-sighted eradication of our shared history. It is especially sad that cherished traditions and acknowledgements of community are replaced by calls of racism. This new flag is simply bad policy recycled, and keeping the 1983 design would have been a great statement by the DFL to show that Minnesotans should educate each other on Native American contributions of the past, present, and future rather than erase them.

Due to these concerns, as well as other budgetary and cultural concerns, Chairman Hann and I have launched an effort to save the Minnesota flag. In addition to sending out a press release, polling Minnesotans on social media, and raising awareness through merchandise, we have also launched Please visit our new website to join us in our efforts today.

Miigwech! (which means thank you in Ojibwe)

-Deputy Chairwoman Donna Bergstrom