President Barack Obama traveled to Cannon Ball, North Dakota yesterday to talk about what the United States needs to do to help Native Americans across the country.
President Obama is just the third sitting president in the last eight decades to visit an Indian Reservation. The president met with Native American children in North Dakota ahead of the tribe's annual Flag Day powwow. In Flandreau, Becky Red Earth-Villeda was happy to see the president step foot on native land.
"Find out when he's going to be here," Becky Red Earth-Villeda said.
Obama unveiled a plan to reform the Bureau of Indian Education to better educate native children and increase tribal control of schools. The White House also hopes to take steps to help Native Americans struggling with unemployment. Red Earth-Villeda, who just ran for president on the Executive Committee in Flandreau, says even with the effort, the president has to work hard to keep his promises.
"I'm really glad you're coming to the reservations because I am assuming and banking on the fact that you're thinking like me. You have a lot of work to do, left to do, and it is with the Native Americans," Red Earth-Villeda said.
Harold Red Earth says if Obama would visit Flandreau, he hopes the president would hear from everyone about the struggles on the reservation.
"I'm glad he's at least making an attempt to, but I wish he would get with the right people. If he was going to visit a reservation he needs to talk to the general membership, not the executive council," Harold Red Earth said.
Obama left Cannon Ball to head to California. Native Americans hope the president's words he said yesterday will lead to changes in the future.
Obama is the first President to visit a reservation since Bill Clinton in 1999. Obama also visited the Crow Nation in Montana during his 2008 campaign.