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Native Press Requests Sit-Down Interview With Obama

Rob Capriccioso
6/12/14

Upon President Barack Obama’s visit to the Standing Rock Sioux Indian Reservation, scheduled for June 13, several Native American journalists are asking that he takes the opportunity to do a sit-down interview with them.

The Native American Journalists Association (NAJA) is leading the charge, with President Mary Hudetz, formerly an editor and reporter with the Associated Press, sending out a press release this week urging Obama to meet with Native media while he is in Indian country.

“NAJA urges the administration to allow journalists working at Native media outlets to have access to Obama during this rare visit by a sitting president to Indian country,” the press release said. “Tribal reporters know their communities and can provide insight and perspective to his visit and efforts to promote tribal sovereignty.”

Obama has previously done sit-down interviews with members of the Hispanic and African-American press, and he answered a questionnaire submitted to him electronically by Indian Country Today Media Network during his 2012 campaign. He has also written two op-eds for ICTMN in the past, with one announcing his current trip to the reservation, along with First Lady Michelle Obama.

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But he has never done a sit-down interview with the Native press, and many Native Americans say it is time for that to change.

“President Obama has already set a strong precedent for reaching out and meeting with Native Americans, and addressing their concerns,” says Brian Bull, a Nez Perce citizen and president and chair of Vision Maker Media. “Mr. Obama can help send another positive message by meeting with Indian journalists during his visit to Standing Rock.”

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