Saginaw Chippewa Chief Calls for Apology from County Executive for “Indian Reservation” Comment

Saginaw Chippewa Tribe Chief Steven Pego being sworn in.

Saginaw Chippewa Tribe Chief Steven Pego being sworn in.

ISABELLA INDIAN RESERVATION— Steven Pego, the newly elected chief of the Saginaw Chippewa Indian Tribe of Michigan, and the Tribal Council is demanding an apology from L. Brooks Patterson, the Oakland County Executive, who compared to Detroit to an Indian reservation in an article released this week in “The New Yorker,” entitled “Drop Dead, Detroit!”

Patterson’s comments drew the ire of American Indians in Michigan, city of Detroit officials and civil rights groups.

L. Brooks Patterson

L. Brooks Patterson

Patterson’s is quoted in “The New Yorker” as saying:

“I made a prediction a long time ago, and it’s come to pass. I said, ‘What we’re going to do is turn Detroit into an Indian reservation, where we herd all the Indians into the city, build a fence around it, and then throw in the blankets and corn.'”

Chief Pego in a news release issued late Friday writes:

“Please join the Reverend Charles Williams II, Michigan chapter of the National Action Network and our Tribal Council in demanding an apology from Mr. Patterson and a call out to Oakland County leaders to take appropriate action against their County Executive.”

“His comparison of the residents of Detroit to Native Americans who were forcibly confined to Indian reservations is shameful. It goes without saying that Mr. Patterson needs a lesson in civility, regardless of whether he was merely pandering to his base, or purposely inciting racial disharmony,” Pego comments in another portion of the release.

The Saginaw Chippewa Tribe of Michigan is located on the Isabella Indian Reservation in Mt. Pleasant, Michigan, some 120 miles northwest of Oakland County, which the county just north of Detroit.



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