BEMIDJI, Minn. (AP) — New census data show nearly half of the state’s 10 most impoverished counties are in northwestern Minnesota, where jobs that can support families can be hard to find.

Minnesota Public Radio reports the poverty rate in Beltrami County is nearly 21 percent, and need is increasing while resources are shrinking. Since the recession, the number of residents getting public assistance has climbed from about 5,000 to around 6,000.

The county includes the Red Lake reservation, where child poverty is about 45 percent, nearly twice the county’s rate as a whole. And while 12 percent of whites live in poverty across the county, it’s 44 percent for American Indians.

Beltrami Works is trying to help people out of property. It’s a two-year-old pilot program offering life coaching and networking.

(© Copyright 2011 The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.)

Comments (9)
  1. Legit Question says:

    Wow….i wonder if Native Americans ever considered it is these antiquated “reservations” that keep their people in the stone age.

    Otherwise i am open to other ideas about why in the year 2011…the native american poverty rate is so much higher than the rest of the nation…especially child poverty? And while we are at it…why is their rate of alcoholism so much greater the rest of the county/state/nation? There has to be a one or two main reasons why…..but funny how i never hear of any work to address those problems. Or more accurately, i never any work done that is EFFECTIVE in reducing the disparities among that race. Why is that?

  2. Joyce says:

    Serious???What are they doing with all the money from the casino??Drinking it or shooting/inhaling the profits? How about some birth control and madate that if you don’t complete high school you don’t get to go on public assistance.

    1. Marjorie says:

      Yes, why don’t the rich casinos in the rest of our state help the other Native Americans who do not receive money from Casinos. How about sharing some of the millions that are doled out to the members of tribes who are rich.

  3. SB says:

    I’m interested in knowing why a community not paying into the state and government is included in our census. The reservations want to live by their own rules and not contribute so they should be excluded from our data and the privileges we recieve

  4. M B says:

    The way of life that some Native Americans (I use this term loosely because they aren’t native to here, they were just here before us) cling to as their heritage pretty much exemplifies subsistence poverty.

    I have no problem with them wanting to remember who they are, but if they choose a way of life that puts them at risk for poverty and alcoholism simply because of tradition, then they can’t expect that too many people will feel sorry for them. Yes, it’s harsh, but it’s also the truth.

    Why not integrate with society? I am an American and my allegiance lies with the U.S., yet I remember my distant (over 200 years) German and French roots.

  5. ForTheKids says:

    Childhood poverty is heart breaking. How we take for granted warm toes in winter, food in the fridge, access to adequate healthcare.

    1. Yep says:

      Thats real talk!!!

  6. NW minnesotan says:

    Why don’t you all get out of the metro area for once and visit these counties/reservations before you are so quick to judge. There are many programs and other items in the works that try to help these people cope with life. Also, if then you would be able to see it’s not only american indians that live in these counties/reservations that have these problems. We all do.

    1. Here Ya Go says:

      Because we read the article…

      #1) if there are many programs in place…..they must not be working or this article wouldnt exsist. Did you think about that?

      #2) While i’m sure many are struggling in NW minnesota….is sounds like the American Indians have it the worst. “The county includes the Red Lake reservation, where child poverty is about 45 percent, nearly twice the county’s rate as a whole. And while 12 percent of whites live in poverty across the county, it’s 44 percent for American Indians.” Thats thats why people focused on the American Indians.

      Any more brain busters?

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