PONEMAH, Minn. — A boundary sign near the Red Lake Reservation was vandalized with a Nazi swastika and the words “2020 Trump.”
The Red Lake Band is now offering a reward for information that leads to the conviction of the persons responsible for defacing the sign.
The sign in Ponemah, Minn., was defaced on Wednesday, Oct. 14. Red Lake Nation is about 35 miles north of Bemidji, Minn.
“The nature of these racist messages is very concerning to the Red Lake Band, in light of the fact that white supremacists have recently been emboldened throughout the United States to carry out extreme actions,” the Red Lake Nation chairman’s office said in a news release. “The Red Lake Band believes it is important to nip this behavior in the bud.”
The Red Lake Tribal Council is offering a $5,000 reward for information that leads to the conviction of those responsible.
Chairman Darrell Seki said the vandalism of welcome signs isn’t new. The signs have been shot at in the past, but this is the first time a sign has been vandalized with a swastika.
“That's pure racism,” he said. “We already have racism that surrounds our reservation every time our members go around.”
He said tribal members deal with other forms of racism and discrimination in their day-to-day lives, too.
Seki said if these types of actions and sign defacings continue to happen, the Red Lake Nation will continue to put out press releases to let the public know about these incidents.
“We're just tired of this,” he said. “The racism towards us and Native people, this is uncalled for.”
Anyone with information should contact the Red Lake Tribal Police Department at 218-679-3313, the release said.