Obama increases support to American Indians
June 13th, 2014
07:33 PM ET
9 years ago

Obama increases support to American Indians

(CNN) – President Barack Obama made his first trip as President to an Indian reservation on Friday and attended a traditional pow wow to signify his commitment Native Americans.

“I’m proud that the relationship between Washington and tribal nations is stronger than ever,” Obama said. “My administration is determined to partner with tribes and it’s not something that just happens once in a while. It takes place every day in just about every issue that touches your lives.”

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In remarks to nearly 2,000 people at the Standing Rock Sioux Reservation, Obama announced initiatives to improve Native American education and overall economic development.

“We’ve made major investments to help grow tribal economies- investments in job training and tribal colleges, roads, high speed internet, energy,” he said.

The White House has released a “Blueprint for Reform,” a plan from the Departments of the Interior and Education that recommends reforming the Bureau of Indian Education to include more tribal sovereignty in operations of tribal schools.

“Let’s put our minds together to improve our schools because our children deserves a world-class education … that prepares them for college or careers. And that means returning control of Indian education to tribal nations with additional resources and support so that you can direct your children’s education and reform schools here in Indian Country,” the President said.

During his five years in office, he has annually hosted the White House Tribal Nations Conference and in 2013, he created the White House Council on Native American Affairs. Over the past five years, the White House has added more than $3 billion dollars in the overall budget designated to support tribal communities.

The President first announced his trip last week with an op-ed published in the online and print publication Indian Country Today, where he touted his administration’s commitment to fulfilling broken promises to American Indians.

“The history of the United States and tribal nations is filled with broken promises. But I believe that during my Administration, we’ve turned a corner together,” he wrote. “We’re writing a new chapter in our history - one in which agreements are upheld, tribal sovereignty is respected, and every American Indian and Alaskan Native who works hard has the chance to get ahead.”

First lady Michelle Obama joined her husband for the Cannon Ball Flag Day Ceremony pow wow, which is part of a three-day celebration of colorful tribal dancing. The Obamas were presented a gift of a quilt and shawl of the Sioux nation.

Obama campaigned in 2008 in Crow Country, Montana, for the Democratic primary there. During his visit, he was adopted into the Crow Nation and given the Native American name “One Who Helps People Throughout the Land.” He joked in 2010 that when Michelle Obama heard that, she said, “You should be named ‘One Who Isn’t Picking Up His Shoes and His Socks.’”

Filed under: North Dakota • President Obama
soundoff (22 Responses)
  1. Thomas

    A country bult on the foundation of Genocide " the systematic destruction of all or part of a racial, ethnic, religious or national group".

    Andrew Jackson

    June 13, 2014 07:53 pm at 7:53 pm |
  2. JimmyD

    This is only the 4th time in US history that a President has visited the American Indians. Amazing!!

    June 13, 2014 08:03 pm at 8:03 pm |
  3. BErnard

    THat great for indian but american need a better suppose as well

    June 13, 2014 08:22 pm at 8:22 pm |
  4. smith1

    thank you mr. president for supporting native people

    June 13, 2014 09:12 pm at 9:12 pm |
  5. Hee-Haw!!

    That is to date the most stupid thing Obama has done - native Americans have a right to exist on their own land, they also have a right to stop getting drunk and beating each other up. Obama needed another disgusting photo op, I guess.

    June 13, 2014 09:35 pm at 9:35 pm |
  6. Smitty

    If they are smart they will get away from Obumbles as quick as possible.

    June 13, 2014 10:01 pm at 10:01 pm |
  7. otlset

    Now that is a beautiful headdress!

    June 13, 2014 10:03 pm at 10:03 pm |
  8. yolanda

    Elizabeth Warren must be proud.

    June 13, 2014 10:29 pm at 10:29 pm |
  9. Lizzie

    And the department of Indian Affairs believes Native Americans are not capable to govern themselves and still gives them beads and blankets.

    June 13, 2014 11:11 pm at 11:11 pm |
  10. 2_indy1600

    "You should be named 'One Who Isn't Picking Up His Shoes and His Socks."
    No, he should be named 'One Who Isn't Picking Up His Paycheck.'
    Lois Lerner's computer ate her homework, folks, and do you actually expect Holder to investigate?
    Feel any better about your healhcare being handled by the IRS? Your taxes? Most corrupt WH in history of country.

    June 14, 2014 12:34 am at 12:34 am |
  11. Scamerican Zero

    President Hussein is noted as saying, "we need to improve relations with American Indians, because, soon, as space runs out in our cities, we will be housing illegal Mexicans on Indian reservations. Let us smoke this peace pipe with Mexican weed."

    June 14, 2014 03:27 am at 3:27 am |
  12. Rob

    Obama is soooooo pathetic. Guess the Indians are the only group he hasn't lied to yet. But then he opened his mouth

    June 14, 2014 04:59 am at 4:59 am |
  13. fredy amelco

    sorry they are real!!!! americans.....not american indians...indians..americaqns...you wrong!!!..they was here before anyone...thanks...

    June 14, 2014 05:09 am at 5:09 am |
  14. @RI_Roger

    If the President would design and promote legislation for ALL people rather than select voting blocks, the entire country would be better off. His selective approach to catering to and targeting select groups is moving this country to be more decisive than ever. We need national leaders to address issues affecting ALL Americans not just the select few.

    I'm all for helping Native Americans, they must be afforded the same opportunities and resources as every other American.... no more, no less.

    June 14, 2014 06:32 am at 6:32 am |
  15. Stuffitu

    This Kenyan village idiot is so embarrassing. He is the most corrupt, inept, incompetent president in our history.

    June 14, 2014 07:44 am at 7:44 am |
  16. Rick McDaniel

    Obama orchestrates the most criminal act against this country, in history, by deliberately importing tens of thousands of illegal immigrants from Central America........and anyone believes he is a "good" man?????

    This country is truly brain dead.

    June 14, 2014 07:57 am at 7:57 am |
  17. Ddtgwt

    Quick stop and off to golf, meanwhile terrorists take Iraq

    June 14, 2014 09:08 am at 9:08 am |
  18. Gunderson

    Interesting story,
    Some time back there was a town that had a park. the town would feed the pigeons regularly. Then the town could no longer afford to feed the pigeons. They figured the pigeons would know how to forage for themselves. After a short while the pigeons started dying. It was finally figured out that the pigeons didn't know how to forage for themselves as no one had taught them! So the town went out and caught wild pigeons and turned them loose among the park pigeons so the wild pigeons would show the park pigeons how to feed themselves. If the people never know how to take care of themselves sooner or later they will also start dying for lack of necessities.

    Amazingly at one time the American Indian could take care of themselves. But the Liberal mind thinks they need to feed them, just like those park pigeons. Go figure.

    June 14, 2014 09:24 am at 9:24 am |
  19. Beth

    Does obama not know how successful the Indians are with their casinos?

    June 14, 2014 09:31 am at 9:31 am |
  20. Ken

    One that helps himself throughout.....

    June 14, 2014 09:34 am at 9:34 am |
  21. just asking

    it is interesting that while his administration has tried to interject the nose of the feds in schools all over this country, he goes to the native americans and tells them he wants return control to locals. btw, obama's name was officially changed to "man who speak with forked tongue" in 2013.

    June 14, 2014 09:52 am at 9:52 am |
  22. Harold Richards

    May Obama should divert the $ millions he is spending on having the FDA on educating Mexican Nationals on how to get US food stamps after they illegally cross the border.

    June 14, 2014 10:42 am at 10:42 am |