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Bruce Whalen: Interview with an Indian Republican

Dorreen Yellow Bird, a Native reporter for The Grand Forks Herald, interviews Bruce Whalen, a member of the Oglala Sioux Tribe, on his affiliation with the Republican Party. Whalen attended the Republican National Convention as an alternate delegate from South Dakota.

Q: What is the Republican fit with Native people?

A: Our ancestors demanded that we live conservatively within our economy. If you didn't, you wouldn't eat. Even though it was a buffalo economy then, it is the same way now: We just are trying to live within the economy that we have.

The other portion is that the family is the foundation of our social order. We have a lot of opportunities to create stronger communities where the community will help raise the children.

I remember when I was growing up, I didn't use foul language that often. Sometimes, if I got mad while playing, I cussed. I would look around because if an adult heard me cuss, I knew my parents would be waiting at home for me. Today, walking through the supermarket, I'm listening to 5- and 6 year-olds cuss their parents out.

Get the Story:
PRAIRIE VOICES: Republican on the rez (The Grand Forks Herald 10/25)