President Obama visits Standing Rock Reservation - KOTA Territory News

President Obama visits Standing Rock Reservation

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President Barack Obama will be at the Standing Rock Reservation Friday, he's taking an in-person look at the often bleak conditions on tribal lands. The President and First Lady are visiting during an annual event known as the Flag Day Celebration.

The reservation straddles the border between North Dakota and South Dakota. About 1,000 residents there struggle with a lack of housing, health care and education, among other problems familiar on reservations nationwide.

Obama pledged to help improve conditions in Indian Country when he was running for president. The White House says he will recognize that more work needs to be done and outline steps to improve Native American education and economic conditions.

President Obama is the first sitting president to visit a reservation since Bill Clinton made a stop at the Pine Ridge Indian Reservation in 1999.  During that appearance he promised to improve water and plumbing, he called on the FCC to increase telephone service and he told people there that they would receive more funding for housing and economic development.

In recent years Clinton has been criticized for his lack of follow through, however others say things did change. The number of small businesses increased, ambulance service improved and preschool education was expanded.

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