News / USA

Obama Visits Native American Reservation

President Barack Obama with first lady Michelle Obama, Standing Rock Sioux Tribal Nation Chairman Dave Archambault II, in Cannon Ball, N.D., Friday, June 13,  2014, during a Cannon Ball flag day celebration, at the Cannon Ball powwow grounds.
President Barack Obama with first lady Michelle Obama, Standing Rock Sioux Tribal Nation Chairman Dave Archambault II, in Cannon Ball, N.D., Friday, June 13, 2014, during a Cannon Ball flag day celebration, at the Cannon Ball powwow grounds.
VOA News
U.S. President Barack Obama has made his first visit since taking office to a Native American reservation. 

The president and his wife, Michelle, traveled Friday to Standing Rock Sioux Tribal Nation in Cannon Ball, North Dakota, in the north-central U.S.

He is just the fourth sitting president to visit a native-American reservation.

Citing legendary tribal chief Sitting Bull, Obama said, "Let's put our minds together to build more economic opportunity in Indian country."

Native Americans who live on reservations face low education levels, poor health care, a high poverty rate and substandard housing.

The White House announced new initiatives Friday, including reforms for the  Bureau of Indian Education, efforts to bring high-speed Internet to tribal schools and training for teachers.   

The president and the first lady met privately with tribal youth to discuss their challenges growing up on the reservation that was home to Sitting Bull. 

Tribal government Chairman Dave Archambault praised the president for helping to correct what he called "historic wrongs" involving tribal land disputes. 

Standing Rock is home to nearly 1,000 residents. The Bureau of Indian Affairs says about 63 percent of able workers at the 9,300 square-kilometer reservation are unemployed. 

The president was visiting North Dakota en route to a vacation in Palm Springs, California.

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by: Keith from: fort Churchill band
July 01, 2014 12:46 AM
Would like to see the president offer some of the 19 billion dollars of trust money set aside for first nations and all north American Indians be distributed to our people's before Obama resigns as we may never get anything from any other American President and I was the one who wanted a black man as President maybe one day they will let one of our own chiefs in the white house as President that is a day I wish to see in my lifetime


by: Not Again from: Canada
June 15, 2014 1:15 AM
Good to see that a head of state visits with his county's aboriginal/native people, this should be the norm, not the exception.
Aboriginal people, all over the World, are facing extinction; their numbers are declining, their conditions of life are dire, their effective land ranges are shrinking, and even in Western type of countries, they find themselves struggling to survive.
Much much more needs to be done to ensure that their conditions improve significantly. Most countries have conducted many studies, which have resulted in many progressive recomendations to better the situation of aboriginal people. Unfortunately, in many cases the recommendations have not been implemented, and in most cases the resource effort in producing the reports is greater than the resource effort in implementing the recommendations.
Precise strategies and progessive objective targets need to be developed jointly (gvmts/ aboriginals/ NGOs/ private sector), with detailed implementation plans, with enforceable datelines, and accountable resources provided, to ensure the native/aboriginal communities grow positively and well.
Natural resource revenue sharing must be one of the fundamentals, to provide resources, for real and comprehensive development.

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