President Obama & First Lady Welcomed to N.D. Indian Country by Sen. Heitkamp
U.S. Senator Heidi Heitkamp (D-N.D.) today welcomed President Barack Obama and First Lady Michelle Obama to Indian country in North Dakota. The President and First Lady's visit will enable Native Americans in the state to show their culture and history, and it will also help shine a light on the challenges many Native American families face, such as high rates of poverty, suicide, and abuse, and the lack of housing.
The President and First Lady will visit North Dakota's Standing Rock Sioux Reservation on Friday, June 13. Heitkamp will join the President and First Lady during their visit to Standing Rock. The last time a sitting president visited Indian country was in 1999 when President Bill Clinton went to Pine Ridge Indian Reservation in South Dakota.
"The President and First Lady's visit is a milestone for Indian country and I welcome them to my state. This trip will enable North Dakota to show off the rich culture, history, and traditions of our tribes, while also raising awareness about the challenges too many Native American families face, such as extreme poverty and abuse. I've been able to spend a great deal of time in Indian country over the years and have seen both the community spirit as well as the problems facing our tribes," said Heitkamp, a member of the Senate Committee on Indian Affairs. "The fact that the child mortality rate nationwide has decreased, while it has increased by 15 percent among Native children is deeply disturbing. It's one of the many reasons why I introduced my bill to stand up for Native children. While I may not agree with the President on some issues, we both absolutely agree that giving Native families and children every chance to succeed is imperative. I look forward to joining him on his visit to Standing Rock."
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