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Obama addresses Native American leaders


Wearing a tradition headdress, Marcus Levings, chairman of the Three Affiliated Tribes, gestured as he asked President Obama during the White House Tribal Nations Conference, held at the Interior Department in Washington. (Pablo Martinez Monsivais/AP)

By Scott Wilson
President Obama told what he called the largest gathering of Native American tribal leaders Thursday that "you will not be forgotten by this White House," pledging to work with them to address the community's chronic problems with health care, economic development, land management and education.

Obama fulfilled a campaign pledge by bringing the leaders of the 564 federally recognized Native American tribes to Washington during his first year in office.

He began his remarks with an accounting of the historically troubled relationship between the federal government and Indian Nations, telling them "few have been marginalized for as long by Washington as Native Americans."

"You have every right to wonder why this time will be any different," Obama told the Tribal Nations Conference audience, assembled at the Department of the Interior.

Soon after, Obama signed a memorandum asking his Cabinet secretaries to outline within 90 days how they intend to improve relations with tribal nations. The memorandum is a follow up to a Clinton-era executive order that has largely languished. In the ensuing question and answer session, tribal leaders thanked Obama for inviting them to Washington. Several wore traditional dress, and spoke at times in the melodic tones of their native languages.

Most addressed Obama in statements rather than with questions. They asked for his help in working with Congress, in refining federal land-management policies and in ensuring the safe supervision of Superfund waste sites on tribal land.

At times, Obama drew on his own biography as evidence that, at one level, he understood their frustrations and demands. He told them he was born to a teenage mother and a father who left when he was two years old.

"I know what it means to be an outsider," he said.

Obama promised to help tribal leaders improve health care, job training and educational opportunities, noting that Native Americans have among the highest dropout rates of any demographic group in the country.

He said the $787 billion stimulus bill he pushed through Congress earlier this year included $3 billion for Indian Nation programs.

The event will last all day, and bring together tribal leaders and federal officials to work on specific issues.

"This session is part of a lasting conversation that is crucial to our future," Obama said.

By Web Politics Editor  |  November 5, 2009; 11:07 AM ET
Categories:  White House  
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Comments

"Border,language, culture..." is this not the mantra Mike Savage spouts and the rest of the hate-wing radio hosts you conservative ditto heads on this post are trying to emulate?

Here is some news for you this is extactly what Native Americans have been fighting for since the days of Columbus. The Americas was not some "land of plenty" void of people but of sovereign nations with their own "borders, language, and culture."

Like any sovereign nation, trying to survive it makes: treaties, concessions, allies and wars. As the U.S. government eventually became the only power Native Americans could deal with, these treaties and concessions became the only way that Native Americans could address grievences. What was the U.S. government response? Trail of tears, forced assimilation, destruction of language, etc. This has been going on as recently as the 1970's

Still to this day, many of those grievences have not been addressed. But yet their is Ira Hayes and countless others who gave their lives for the U.S. Go to any Native American powwow and you would always see the American flag and all veterans who are present are given a ritual honor.

To the conservative haters, turn of the radio, grow up and learn to respect other people's "language culture and borders."

Posted by: Ironcomments | November 5, 2009 7:24 PM | Report abuse

For more information www.Wildfireprotest.org

NOT INVITED TO OBAMA'S TRIBAL CONFERENCE?

Stop Amendments to 1934 IRA!
Stop the broken Carcieri fixes!

Immediately tell your Congressman and the President "NO" on HR 3742, HR 3697 and S 1703. Don't give Article 1, Section 8 of the Constitution to the Secretary of Interior who's already proven to install "imposter" tribes to build casinos at the expense of historic tribes.
See evidence at: http://wildfireprotest.squarespace.com/you-too-can-vote-to-be-miwok/

Demand a congressional investigation of the BIA cover-up.

Echo-hawk promised public hearings for both Native American and the US public to solve the Carcieri decision. The leaders at Obama's Tribal Conference don't represent us.

These bills don't protect Native Americans or the Tax Payers of US, they absolve the Secretary of the Interior and the Bureau of Indian affairs from 200 years of corruption and failure to protect and administer the congress?s treaties made with the Native American?s.

· Were you dis-enrolled?
· Was your tribal identity stolen by an imposter tribe?
· Have you been excluded from the entitlements you've been seeing your leaders get?
· Was your Historic tribe rejected for recognition without explanation...even with thousands of pages documenting your ancestry?

Posted by: firestarter1 | November 5, 2009 7:22 PM | Report abuse

For more information www.Wildfireprotest.org

NOT INVITED TO OBAMA'S TRIBAL CONFERENCE?

Stop Amendments to 1934 IRA!
Stop the broken Carcieri fixes!

Immediately tell your Congressman and the President "NO" on HR 3742, HR 3697 and S 1703. Don't give Article 1, Section 8 of the Constitution to the Secretary of Interior who's already proven to install "imposter" tribes to build casinos at the expense of historic tribes.
See evidence at: http://wildfireprotest.squarespace.com/you-too-can-vote-to-be-miwok/

Demand a congressional investigation of the BIA cover-up.

Echo-hawk promised public hearings for both Native American and the US public to solve the Carcieri decision. The leaders at Obama's Tribal Conference don't represent us.

These bills don't protect Native Americans or the Tax Payers of US, they absolve the Secretary of the Interior and the Bureau of Indian affairs from 200 years of corruption and failure to protect and administer the congress?s treaties made with the Native American?s.

· Were you dis-enrolled?
· Was your tribal identity stolen by an imposter tribe?
· Have you been excluded from the entitlements you've been seeing your leaders get?
· Was your Historic tribe rejected for recognition without explanation...even with thousands of pages documenting your ancestry?

Posted by: firestarter1 | November 5, 2009 7:21 PM | Report abuse

Apparently history books and media are doing a great job diminishing Native American history and past injustices. Rather than accepting your total U.S. history and offering a positive solution to help all U.S. communities get stronger, just lash out like you do.

Just remember, when Thanksgiving day rolls around, majority of Americans are going to observe the friendship and support indigenous peoples extended to pilgrims in the new world. Just remember when you take your paid Thanksgiving vacation day, it's suppose to be in honor of communities helping communities to establish the "new America". And hopefully, the holiday will remind you of how your forefathers overcame adversity so that future generations can flourish in America. This is what kids are supposedly taught in their elementary classrooms.

Or maybe you'll decide to forget, cloud your mind with anger, and continue to let resentment spew from your mouths.

Posted by: chinampa02 | November 5, 2009 6:41 PM | Report abuse

Interesting that the current American Natives wiped out the Natives that were here before them. Where are the reparations and concern for those that were wiped out?

So what do you think would have happened if the Russians had populated the US? Simple, there would not be a single native American alive today.

Posted by: Bubbette1 | November 5, 2009 6:22 PM | Report abuse

To Jerzy: Obama wants to try to turn our country into a giant failure? What was BUSH'S INTENTION? DID HE GIVE A DAMN ABOUT ANYTHING? DID HE TRY TO FIX ANYTHING IN A REASONABLE WAY? DID HE PAY ANY ATTENTION TO THE MANY PROBLEMS OF THIS COUNTRY? WHAT DID HE DO THAT HAS MADE US BETTER OFF? And you want to talk about Obama's intentions? What were Bush's actions? What were *his* so-called intentions? People like you are full of cr-p, and were dead wrong for eight years on that loser. Thinkers shouldn't buy what you're selling.

Posted by: fbutler1 | November 5, 2009 3:52 PM


To fbutler.
Bush never tried selling the country out, never tried forcing middle and upper class families to pay for healthcare for those who feel working is beneath them. He didn't try turning the US into a socialist country. But keep drinking from the Obama fountain and when you wake up to find every thing you owned gone and your rights taken away you'll get what you deserve. I also hate to break the news to you but a President is defined by what happens when he’s in office and it just sucked being attacked on 9-11. So shove I t up your self righteous @zz. We we’re all behind Bush on 9-12 it’s just worthless POS like you’re self have no resolve. I know it was more than you expected or too tough so that justifies you’re running away. Thank god jack @zzes like you didn’t exist in 1776.

Posted by: askgees | November 5, 2009 5:44 PM | Report abuse

With the money these Indian tribes are raking in on untaxed casinos, they should be bailing out the government, not the other way around.

Posted by: Dan23 | November 5, 2009 4:17 PM
***********************************

Yo! Teabagging idiots! You might save yourself a little embarrassment by checking a couple of facts before you shoot your mouths and hit your own feet.

1) All gaming tribes do so under tribal compacts with state governments, who do indeed take a cut of the earnings.

2) Gaming tribes are often some of the most important contributors to their communities. Here in Albuquerque, which has several pueblos nearby with gaming facilities, all contribute to a wide variety of charitable causes in the city and state. Sandia Pueblo, for example, is the largest corporate contributor to the New Mexico Symphony Orchestra, among many other charitable causes. Early in the aftermath of Katrina, it also sent the largest corporate donation of any entity to New Orleans relief efforts (well over $1 million).

3) Tribes often have far higher rates of voluntary US military service than does the general population.

4) Most tribes do not have/choose not to participate in gaming.

My goodness, how do some of you guys have the temerity/gall to even call yourselves Americans??? You are a national disgrace.

Posted by: abqcleve | November 5, 2009 5:32 PM | Report abuse

Thank God the vocal minority did not win the election over the silent majority... you can hate it as much as you want. But be rest assured that if not for George Bush, Obama would just have been another Senator. I'm just waiting for another right-wing dingbat pontificator to be caught red handed again... so they can tell me God told them to do it... and that America belongs to them and them alone. Hey, Obama must be a genius or somn for folks to want him to fix in 1 year what took GWB 8 years to destroy.

Posted by: samiismoni14 | November 5, 2009 5:19 PM | Report abuse

Remember the massacre of Custer at Little Bighorn. Were's the apology for that from the Injuns??

Posted by: tjhall1
**************************************
tjhall1, it was war! Custer and his 7th Calvary went to Montana to wage war against the Indians and were defeated. Now, you want the Indians to apologize for being the winners of that military battle? Unfortunately for them, they ended up losing the war, and they've been paying for it ever since.

Posted by: slfoster01 | November 5, 2009 4:47 PM | Report abuse

Thank you, nitad1953! The U.S. outright STOLE so much land for the natives.

One quick example: 1868. Fort Laramie Treaty. The U.S. signed a treaty that said the land around the Black Hills in the Dakotas would belong to the Sioux "as long as the grass grows and the river runs." But a couple of Americans find gold there in 1874, so the government takes the land anyway, in blatant violation of the treaty.

How dare anybody blame the native people for their present difficult circumstances? They've been treated like garbage in their homeland by the people who stole it from them for centuries now.

Posted by: jonesey1 | November 5, 2009 4:36 PM | Report abuse

There have been so many social ills that have been pushed under the carpet and my Native American brothers and sisters have
been swept under, over and turned upside down by this amoral government of these United States. I skimmed through these comments and saw the one about Custer's last stand. The Native Americans need offer no apology for what happened there. There land was encrouched upon and they were thrown on reservations to accomodate
selfish bigots whose spirit still reigns in the 'good ol' boys environs. What about the thousands of Native Americans who were given blankets infested with the small pox virus and those who were marched from warm and accomodating climates through a bitter winter on 'The Trail of Tears' to their deaths. What's wrong with America, the good ol' boys and their gals don't think about anyone other than themselves.
Oh, by the by, Happy Thanksgiving! to the morons who forgot those who helped the early settlers when they landed here in pursuit of their life, liberty and pursuit of happiness for all mankind!!!!

Posted by: nitad1953 | November 5, 2009 4:22 PM | Report abuse

With the money these Indian tribes are raking in on untaxed casinos, they should be bailing out the government, not the other way around.

Posted by: Dan23 | November 5, 2009 4:18 PM | Report abuse

With the money these Indian tribes are raking in on untaxed casinos, they should be bailing out the government, not the other way around.

Posted by: Dan23 | November 5, 2009 4:17 PM | Report abuse

HOW MUCH LONGER WILL WE LET HIM STALL ON AFGHANISTAN? THE USA DOES NOT HAVE A COMMANDER-IN-CHIEF RIGHT NOW. OBONGO NEEDS TO RESIGN THE PRESIDENCY AND GO TO WORK FOR THE BUREAU OF INDIAN AFFAIRS. WE NEED A COMMANDER IN CHIEF.

Posted by: mock1ngb1rd | November 5, 2009 4:16 PM | Report abuse

I love Obama, and I think the Native American tribes have been completely mistreated and marginalized for a long time. I want to see Obama take action before I start throwing confetti - it's easy enough to say something without doing it.

Posted by: ravensfan20008 | November 5, 2009 4:12 PM | Report abuse

Interesting comments as few remember the Indians were robbed by K Street Republicans and Jack Abramoff. For 8 years Indians never got any grants and support from the US Govenment. Even in California as the Indians worked and gained profits on their own the Governor wanted to take their money because of the budget. Yes when in need take from the Indians yet again but never give them anything. I wonder when the GOP will say Indians aren't Americans. Seems like Republicans don't think anyone is an American except them and their wing nut supporters.

Posted by: qqbDEyZW | November 5, 2009 4:08 PM | Report abuse

Remember the massacre of Custer at Little Bighorn. Were's the apology for that from the Injuns??

Posted by: tjhall1 | November 5, 2009 4:06 PM | Report abuse

The native tribes have my utter sympathy. This country has screwed them up, down, and sideways. But I don't think there's a snowball's chance in hell of BHO doing anything more than TALKING about helping them. He could have already started some on-the-rez federal jobs programs by now if he'd actually wanted to something concrete.

Posted by: jonesey1 | November 5, 2009 3:57 PM | Report abuse

Obama still apologizing. SAD.

Posted by: askgees | November 5, 2009 3:53 PM | Report abuse

To Jerzy: Obama wants to try to turn our country into a giant failure? What was BUSH'S INTENTION? DID HE GIVE A DAMN ABOUT ANYTHING? DID HE TRY TO FIX ANYTHING IN A REASONABLE WAY? DID HE PAY ANY ATTENTION TO THE MANY PROBLEMS OF THIS COUNTRY? WHAT DID HE DO THAT HAS MADE US BETTER OFF? And you want to talk about Obama's intentions? What were Bush's actions? What were *his* so-called intentions? People like you are full of cr-p, and were dead wrong for eight years on that loser. Thinkers shouldn't buy what you're selling.

Posted by: fbutler1 | November 5, 2009 3:52 PM | Report abuse

odumbo stop sucking up to every special interest bunch and get us out of the bs war. if the pols are not stirring the minority pot they are throwing $$$$ at them.

Posted by: pofinpa | November 5, 2009 3:52 PM | Report abuse


give every lewd canibal squaw, especially the ugly mother of the phony three affiliated tribes, a wampum belt at the next council fire.

je me souvien

Posted by: therapy | November 5, 2009 3:52 PM | Report abuse

If you want to have a vision of Obama's America, visit a reservation dependent on the federal government—high unemployment, crime, substance abuse, poor health care, lousy schools, crippling bureaucracy, bitter political infighting, and a pervasive aura of hopelessness.

The few reservations that have weaned themselves from federal dependence and embraced free enterprise model are thriving.

Obama wants to turn the entire nation into one huge failure of a reservation.

Posted by: Jerzy | November 5, 2009 3:18 PM
******************************

On the other hand, it's idiotic, asinine comments like the above, whose authors clearly vote GOP, that gives me hope. Fewer and fewer Americans express this kind of ignorance.

Jerzy, I hope you just read Choctaw's comment a few minutes ago. You have a lot to learn.

Posted by: abqcleve | November 5, 2009 3:23 PM | Report abuse

If you want to have a vision of Obama's America, visit a reservation dependent on the federal government—high unemployment, crime, substance abuse, poor health care, lousy schools, crippling bureaucracy, bitter political infighting, and a pervasive aura of hopelessness.

The few reservations that have weaned themselves from federal dependence and embraced free enterprise model are thriving.

Obama wants to turn the entire nation into one huge failure of a reservation.

Posted by: Jerzy | November 5, 2009 3:18 PM | Report abuse

Having read all of the comments pertaining to Native Americans, I find that ignorance & prejudice about indian affairs among the general public still lives on in our country today.

I am a registered Native American - Choctaw. I live in California, but work with American Indians throughout the United States. I see the lack of education among the majority of tribes, major health issues & mostly . . mistrust.

The Department of the Interior, who is responsible for all of the Indian Trust Lands, from 1887 to 2007(120 years) mishandled appropriations that belonged to Indian tribes. No accountable accounting system was put in place & there were huge gaps where oil & gas companies had leased Indian land, payed the government, who in turn kept the money. Indian grazing & quarrying rights, leased timber lands, agriculture, oil, natural gas & mineral rights. . . money collected by the government & were paying nothing or very little to the tribes (depending on the tribe).

The Dept. of the Interior has been destroying Indian documents over the years; discarding cartons of ledgers listing transactions & disbursements plus records of uncashed checks - some 100 years old that never reached their intended Indian recipients, & Indian trust money that was used to bail New York City & the Chrysler Corporation out of bankruptcy several years ago.

It was found by the federal courts that the U.S. government owes the Indian tribes of the U. S. billions of dollars in misused trust fund money. President George W. Bush offered to settle a lawsuit that has been in process since 1996, for 7 billion dollars that would have been paid over 10 years without interest. In exchange, all tribal & individual claims for mismanagement of the Indian trust fund account, against the federal government would be dropped. By this admission of needing to settle, was the first time the federal government has acknowledged a multi-billion dollar liability for the mismanagement of the Indian trust funds over the past century & more. This case is still in the federal courts.

With the advent of gaming, a few tribes have become successful, while the majority are still struggling. Tribal treaties with the U.S. government are still in place & regarded as binding.

If you are interested in the case I have discussed, look under Cobell v U.S. Government.
Thank you,
Proud Choctaw

Posted by: dterry1 | November 5, 2009 3:17 PM | Report abuse

Euopeans, despite their attempts at genocide of native Americans, did faciliate moving the aboriginals from a stone age existence to a first-world status. And our native Americans are now making heap big wampum from all those casinos!

Posted by: wagtdn
**********************

Please. I recognize you think this is whimsical, but I gotta say, statements like this make me depressed about the ability of too many of my fellow Americans to face reality.

Most of the 500+ tribes do not have gaming. Native Americans are among the poorest citizens in the US. Suicide rates on reservations and pueblos are among the highest in any segment of our nation. Our government not only committed genocide in the 19th century, we continue to renege on our treaty obligations.

There is nothing but shame to be had in any reflection of how poorly "Europeans" have treated Native Americans.

Posted by: abqcleve | November 5, 2009 3:12 PM | Report abuse

How about reparations for them?

Posted by: 45upnorth | November 5, 2009 3:10 PM | Report abuse

I think we owe them more than that since it was the US Govt and citizens who pretty much committed genocide on the Native Americans.

Posted by: Krazijoe | November 5, 2009 2:51 PM | Report abuse

Wow, now that a government official wants to help Native Americans, it's considered a hand-out, and all the conservatives like to remind us how Indians receive "free" dental and health care already. Have you ever been to one of our U.S. government- serviced health clinics? Have you seen the minimal service with long wait lines, while most ailments are treated with "baby aspirin"? If you haven't, you shouldn't comment on what you don't know.

Apparently history books and media are doing a great job diminishing Native American history and past injustices. Rather than accepting your total U.S. history and offering a positive solution to help all U.S. communities get stronger, just lash out like you do.

Just remember, when Thanksgiving day rolls around, majority of Americans are going to observe the friendship and support indigenous peoples extended to pilgrims in the new world. Just remember when you take your paid Thanksgiving vacation day, it's suppose to be in honor of communities helping communities to establish the "new America". And hopefully, the holiday will remind you of how your forefathers overcame adversity so that future generations can flourish in America. This is what kids are supposedly taught in their elementary classrooms.

Or maybe you'll decide to forget, cloud your mind with anger, and continue to let resentment spew from your mouths.

Posted by: chinampa02 | November 5, 2009 2:38 PM | Report abuse

Let's see blacks did not come out to vote on Tuesday, the young folk did not come out to vote on Tuesday, Independents went Republican in VA 2-1, time to find another group that "might" be able to help keep some Dems in office in 2010. Things are looking better and better (but perhaps not for the Whitehouse).

Posted by: ReneesOpinion | November 5, 2009 2:33 PM | Report abuse

1575 TURLER 'Traueiler' 69 Although their names be written in the Matricular bookes of students.

Posted by: edtroyhampton | November 5, 2009 2:26 PM | Report abuse

the only real Americans!

Posted by: lantallen | November 5, 2009 2:24 PM | Report abuse

: Barack Obama on himself: Black child of privilege compares himself to Abe Lincoln

Jay White
08-04-2005, 01:22 AM
I came across this opinion piece by Peggy Noonan, "Conceit of Government: Why are our politicians so full of themselves?"

She roasts the rising Black political star Barack Obama--as well as other conceited politicians--for comments he made comparing his "struggles" and "achievments" to those of Abraham Lincoln. I thought I'd post just those paragraphs that are about Obama's disconnection from reality. Enjoy!

Source article: http://www.opinionjournal.com/columnists/pnoonan/?id=110006884

This week comes the previously careful Sen. Barack Obama, flapping his wings in Time magazine and explaining that he's a lot like Abraham Lincoln, only sort of better. "In Lincoln's rise from poverty, his ultimate mastery of language and law, his capacity to overcome personal loss and remain determined in the face of repeated defeat--in all this he reminded me not just of my own struggles."

Oh. So that's what Lincoln's for. Actually Lincoln's life is a lot like Mr. Obama's. Lincoln came from a lean-to in the backwoods. His mother died when he was 9. The Lincolns had no money, no standing. Lincoln educated himself, reading law on his own, working as a field hand, a store clerk and a raft hand on the Mississippi. He also split some rails. He entered politics, knew more defeat than victory, and went on to lead the nation through its greatest trauma, the Civil War, and past its greatest sin, slavery.

Barack Obama, the son of two University of Hawaii students, went to Columbia and Harvard Law after attending a private academy that taught the children of the Hawaiian royal family. He made his name in politics as an aggressive Chicago vote hustler in Bill Clinton's first campaign for the presidency.

You see the similarities.

There is nothing wrong with Barack Obama's résumé, but it is a log-cabin-free zone. So far it also is a greatness-free zone. If he keeps talking about himself like this it always will be.

Mr. Obama said he keeps a photographic portrait of Lincoln on the wall of his office, and that "it asks me questions."

I'm sure it does. I'm sure it says, "Barack, why are you such an egomaniac?" Or perhaps, "Is it no longer possible in American politics to speak of another's greatness without suggesting your own?"

Posted by: mharwick | November 5, 2009 2:18 PM | Report abuse

FU SUMB44. You have no idea what sovereignty means. We are preexisting sovereigns. You are here at our leisure.

One day of lip service does not make up for 400 years of genocide and apartheid. It's a start, maybe a new start, but how do you start anew with someone who has tried to exterminate your existence by "assimilating" you (FU SUMB44).

Posted by: anarcho-liberal-tarian | November 5, 2009 2:11 PM | Report abuse

Obama:
"So I ask you tribal leaders, to join our cause, please consider becoming members of ACORN..."

Posted by: Phil6 | November 5, 2009 2:09 PM | Report abuse

I hope all those white men and women who, in their day, laid waste to the Native American people and cultures are enjoying their special place in hell.

But today is today. And when thousands of poor, Vietnamese boat people, African Americans, migrant Mexicans, and others have worked hard and prospered in this country, with or without financial aid, it is wrong and denigrating to believe that Native Americans cannot do the same.

I believe the same willingness to work and struggle against an adverse environment, evident in the Native Americans of old, still resides in the blood of Native Americans today. I don't know how they are going to exhibit it; the problems are complex. But the "Progressive" recipe of endless entitlement and group-think is just going to breed sloth and greater marginalization.

Posted by: RossOdom | November 5, 2009 2:05 PM | Report abuse

Euopeans, despite their attempts at genocide of native Americans, did faciliate moving the aboriginals from a stone age existence to a first-world status. And our native Americans are now making heap big wampum from all those casinos!

Posted by: wagtdn | November 5, 2009 1:56 PM | Report abuse

Osama’s error is calling the indigenous people to these lands 'outsiders' but the fact is; that term should apply to most other people (here) If 'some' I would term as 'land pirates' at best still have an issue being honest in regards to how this so called American wealth that you refuse to share was obtained; perhaps your ancestor's original homelands are probably open to your return ... except maybe you left for some interesting reasons!

Posted by: aypub | November 5, 2009 1:48 PM | Report abuse

Hey Native Americans, Obama gave us in the gay community the 'I know how it feels/Bill Clinton 'I feel your pain' reach around. Now with him not fighting for us, as he promised, we get squat with his pledges of ending DADT and fighting for gay rights.

Which is what he and Emanuel will get in 2012. Squat. Better the GOP, at least we know they hate us. Would rather fight them than a so called friend.

Posted by: PatrickNYC1 | November 5, 2009 1:43 PM | Report abuse

"If the Administration is serious, they can start by providing enough money to cover the Government sponsored Native American Health Care. Current funds only cover about 8 months a year of the actual costs!!!! That's why the Indians have a saying, "done by June". From June through September there is NO money for their health care!"

====================================

If the Administration is serious, they can start by hiring Native Americans as they have black Americans in the federal government.

A good place to start would be the White House. For every black employee, hire a Native American employee.

But who am I kidding?

Native American Health Care is a clear example of the Government's disdain for this segment of the population. I agree this was just another campaigning photo op.

Posted by: dskiff | November 5, 2009 1:43 PM | Report abuse

What? No apology for Custer and the 7th Cavalry?


pgr88 - your post nailed it!

Posted by: menopausequeen | November 5, 2009 1:41 PM | Report abuse

"WHy do we recognize these groups as sovereign nations."

Because they were sovereign nations that the US negotiated treaties with in the 18th-19th centuries?

To all those who want to abrogate the treaties: sure, but that means they're entitled to all their lands back (which, come to think of it, would almost certainly be considerably more lucrative for them).

The amounts spent on the current native system are a pittance compared to all the money that America has made on the land it owns.

Posted by: SeanC1 | November 5, 2009 1:35 PM | Report abuse

Osama’s error is calling the indigenous people to these lands 'outsiders' but the fact is; that term should apply to most other people (here) If 'some' I would term as 'land pirates' at best still have an issue being honest in regards to how this so called American wealth that you refuse to share was obtained; perhaps your ancestor's original homelands are probably open to your return ... except maybe you left for some interesting reasons!

Posted by: aypub | November 5, 2009 1:31 PM | Report abuse

Obama just doesn't get it. Bashing Bush serves no purpose any more.

Posted by: pkhenry | November 5, 2009 1:28 PM | Report abuse

Get a life, you Republican losers! The United States government, and all of the colonies of this continent before our government was established, conducted a very effective genocide against all native peoples.

This is an historic gathering that is WAY past due, and I am grateful to President Obama for holding it.

It is unpatriotic for you to be running down and disrespecting the President of the United States. And probably racist, too, but we're not supposed to talk about that.

If you see where the reservations are in the Southwest you will see that they are placed where there is no water. Our government marched those people to the most desolate areas they could find.

History text books in our schools read something like this,"In 1492 the real people got here and history started." How arrogant!

I am only glad that my ancestors came here in the 20th century so that I don't have that blood on my hands.

Posted by: DianeMaria1 | November 5, 2009 1:27 PM | Report abuse

"The very idea of sovereign tribal land and reservations is pure self-segregation ..."

Posted by: SUMB44 | November 5, 2009 11:23 AM
====================================
"Self-segregation?" Really? Indians certainly didn't think up the idea of moving from a wide open existence to that of a reservation. I believe presidential orders that trumped treaties and the exercises of the U.S. Army had something to do with it.

Posted by: Meepo | November 5, 2009 1:27 PM | Report abuse

Better than wasting time with the Dali Lama , but less important than McKristal .

Posted by: borntoraisehogs | November 5, 2009 1:25 PM | Report abuse

This is nothing more than a photo-op. If Obama is serious about addressing the colossal crimes committed against Native Americans, he should start with an act of repentance at Gnadenhutten (site of the first massacre west of the Alleghenies) and then go to Wounded Knee (the bloody conclusion to a century of slaughter/theft). There is no healing without repentance.

Posted by: Spiritof761 | November 5, 2009 1:24 PM | Report abuse

Do Native Americans believe this crap?
=============
NO

Posted by: lindy226 | November 5, 2009 1:21 PM | Report abuse

Dismantle the government welfare state allow the trust lands to be divided up and distributed in fee simple and let the natives use it like everyone else . Word of warning , do it by treaty so tax payers don't pay twice . see Ute Tribe v US

Posted by: borntoraisehogs | November 5, 2009 1:21 PM | Report abuse

"The One" Big Chief Sitting-Bull-5hit,has spoken.

Posted by: dashriprock | November 5, 2009 1:14 PM | Report abuse

But its only Obama who cares about Native Americans,,,, isn't it? No one else ever has. What a crock,,,, give us all a break please. Do Native Americans believe this crap?

Posted by: WmJLePetomane | November 5, 2009 12:58 PM | Report abuse

Yet another group looking for a handout. WHy do we recognize these groups as sovereign nations. Cannot wait till we establish sovereign nation status for mexicans. salvadorans and hondurans, ha, ha, ha, ha, ha, ha ,ha, ha...........

Posted by: goziner | November 5, 2009 12:58 PM | Report abuse

On the issue of assimilation:

- Forced assimilation in the 19th and 20th century through boarding schools where young Indians who were forcibly removed from their families were made to cut their hair, prohibited from speaking their language, and often abused worked wonderfully well. It yielded a generation of children entirely disconnected from their families and their heritage, left to fend for themselves without any cultural compass or references; essentially, that system yielded lost generations of Indians.
- The federal government's termination policy in the fifties had such pitiful results - ask the Menominees and the Klamaths - that the federal government finally woke up and realized that tribal self-determination is preferable for tribes.

As to the contention that Indian tribes are on the dole, the U.S. government promised tribes health care and/or education in exchange for their land. This is the price that the U.S. has to pay to this day for the land that you live on. Official treaty-making ended in the U.S. in 1871, not 300 years ago.

The person who has a problem with casinos not being taxable is ill-informed. States sign contracts with tribes, known as gaming compacts, through which they often negotiate a price for granting tribes exclusive gaming rights in their state: 30 to 40% of a tribe's gaming profits. That goes straight back into the state's coffers.

On leases, I have to agree with redd1: the U.S. government, in some cases, parked tribes on "worthless" land it promised to manage for them. Once oil was found, it allowed private companies to lease the land and drill for oil. In many cases, tribes saw little to none of the money from those leases through either government incompetence or theft from the companies.

Finally, there is the Cobell v. Salazar case which has dragged on since 1996 and which is a disgrace to the Department of the Interior (that didn't prevent them from consistently wielding scorched-earth litigation tactics).

Native American issues are complex, multi-faceted (564 federally recognized tribes will do that), and not reducible to hateful soundbites like, "Just assimilate" or "I'm tired of my tax dollars paying for those bums."

Get informed, then judge.

Posted by: clairemdc1 | November 5, 2009 12:57 PM | Report abuse

One of my daily prayers is that we, as a nation and as human beings, can let go of the petty stuff that divides us and find a way to work on bigger, more valuable things.

There is no discussion about Native Health care. Indian Health Service, which was already limited, was cut in half during the Bush administration. Urban Indians are often unable to get care where they live. In spite of their treatment, Native Americans have served our country as soldiers and Marines in higher proportions than any other group - so those of you who want to whine, just recognize you have no ground to stand on.

My suggestion for all of us is to embrace our nation, accepting both the bad and good we have tried to do. We need to move forward from here, working for a country that has respect for its people, where we recognize that we are all humans with basic needs, and that we all bring something to the table to grow as a nation and a people.

There are always going to be ignorant people who have no sense of history or imagination for the future. Our country cannot let these people drive our agenda. Our leaders need our prayers, ideas, and support more now than ever.

Posted by: maggieww | November 5, 2009 12:51 PM | Report abuse

A Democratic President that has made the Democrats the party of Wall Street by his refusal to force the banks back to lending and out of the large bonuses of investment banking.

The banks vaults are filled with worthless pieces of paper just like the 1930's before the were forced out of banking.

The loophole that allows hedge fund managers to pay only 15 percent on their salaries is still open, and no action to collect the back taxes that should have been paid.

And the President with another photo opportunity with native Americans.

Since the President has already forgotten the problems of all American there is no meaning in "you will not be forgotten by this White House,".

FDR must be turning in his grave.

Posted by: bsallamack | November 5, 2009 12:50 PM | Report abuse

Obama's on the campaign trail, looking for more groups he can "pick up" to replace ACORN, the high schoolers and college kids, derelicts on the street corner that ACORN paid to vote for him. --- basically,
anyone who doesn't pay taxes. That's the key. Because anyone who pays taxes does not agree with Obama's militant radical
socialist ideas that would only raise our taxes.

Posted by: ohioan | November 5, 2009 12:45 PM | Report abuse

that's odd, mines covered for 12 full months. Oh yea, one important part about that, I write the check, I don't depend on Uncle Sam!

Posted by: ohboy3 | November 5, 2009 12:45 PM | Report abuse

What a crock. This white house will not forget you. Absolute pandering. Hogwash. The typical, we care about you (but Bush did not) garbage spew.

Posted by: WmJLePetomane | November 5, 2009 12:43 PM | Report abuse

If the Administration is serious, they can start by providing enough money to cover the Government sponsored Native American Health Care. Current funds only cover about 8 months a year of the actual costs!!!! That's why the Indians have a saying, "done by June". From June through September there is NO money for their health care!

Posted by: Jimbo77 | November 5, 2009 12:42 PM | Report abuse

As a tribal member you are entitled to FREE, health education and welfare, period.

Wouldn't it be nice to have free health care including dental and eye? (oh yea, the tax payer is paying for that, sorry, forgot, my mistake about the free part)

Wouldn't be nice to have a free college eduation? (oh yea, forgot again, someone else is paying for that too, sorry)

"earlier this year included $3 billion for Indian Nation programs"

Another example of throwing more money at a never ending cyclical problem. Why not do some follow up investigating about all the billions that have been thrown at reservations in the past?

Posted by: ohboy3 | November 5, 2009 12:40 PM | Report abuse

I've seen a lot of Indian so called "leaders" on TV and they all look like white people with pale skin. Where are the REAL native American Indians?

Posted by: Mickey2 | November 5, 2009 12:37 PM | Report abuse

I'm Native American and I can assure you that my people do NOT get any kind of government check... nada! That old lie is like the "welfare queen" smear of the Reagan days. Yes a few of our nations have lucrative gambling operations but they are a few of the 500 tribes most still sufffer endemic poverty much the same as inner cities but worse. As we told Obama and every president before him, all we truly ask is the the USA live up to its treaty obligations and your own Constitution. Do that and you can keep your money.

Posted by: cartercamp | November 5, 2009 12:34 PM | Report abuse

We've screwed Native Americans enough over the centuries. Every president should want to fairly work with OUR Indians to better their lives. We took enough from them (America) so it is only fair to give some back.

Posted by: ingramjr | November 5, 2009 12:31 PM | Report abuse

another special interest group visiting the White House for a photo op and message of the day.

How far along is the OBAMA White House on its check list of groups and causes to coopt? Meanwhile the decision on Afghanistan festers, Health care is a mess in the Congress and unemployment is at an all time post war high.

Enough of the campaigning. Start governing and spending your time making decisions rather than in having your picture taken and making another teleprompted speech.

Posted by: bobfbell | November 5, 2009 12:24 PM | Report abuse

Our historical treatment of Native Americans has ranged from unfair and shameful to criminal (as with treaty violations). Most often, we avert our eyes from the poverty and illness that are daily facts of life on many reservations.

I am totally impressed that Obama found the time to reach out to Native Americans, given all he's got on his plate these days. I know he's taken up other important causes and initiatives that escape Media attention, but to me this is really very special.

Posted by: valleyforge | November 5, 2009 11:58 AM

==================================================

Well said. I couldn't agree with you more.

Posted by: MUPPET | November 5, 2009 12:15 PM | Report abuse

Typical Obama / Alinsky political tactic - constantly remind a group of its differences and magnify and play-up its grievances, while promising to be the one to redress those grievances.

Obama is the worst sort of racist-baiter there is.

Posted by: pgr88 | November 5, 2009 12:15 PM | Report abuse

HOw come everytime we vow to help the native americans it involves shoveling more money and free stuff and tax free gambling casino's on sovereign land we can't tax but they can tap.
Why don't we invite them to assimilate and help with training for useful jobs in American society instead of sitting on their reservation waiting for their monthly subsistence checks and complaining about the white men who took over their land 300 years ago?

Posted by: sandynh | November 5, 2009 12:14 PM | Report abuse

Obama can start by getting rid of big government and handouts...
we are tired of those...

Posted by: lindy226 | November 5, 2009 12:12 PM | Report abuse

"...pledging to work with them to address the community's chronic problems with health care, economic development, land management and education."

That's funny. The Native Americans didn't have these issues until the Anglos arrived.

Posted by: TooManyPeople | November 5, 2009 12:05 PM | Report abuse

Black man speak with forked tounge!

Posted by: affirmativeactionpresident | November 5, 2009 12:04 PM | Report abuse

Like most politcians while obama never forgets he just cannot remember! All politicians of which obama is one, will tell you whatever it takes to get your vote just ask the gays.

Posted by: KBlit | November 5, 2009 12:03 PM | Report abuse

will obozo have the indians over for a golf or basketball game? never mind the economy. never mind unemployment. never mind food stamps over 40 million. how aboyt paying attention to the economy? A rising tide floats all boats.

Posted by: charlietuna666 | November 5, 2009 12:03 PM | Report abuse

Oh, no. Odumbo is now getting ready to print even more money and give it to the Indians. The Welfare Spendation and Reparations By Another Name programs continue.

God help us all.

Posted by: tjhall1 | November 5, 2009 12:02 PM | Report abuse

Our historical treatment of Native Americans has ranged from unfair and shameful to criminal (as with treaty violations). Most often, we avert our eyes from the poverty and illness that are daily facts of life on many reservations.

I am totally impressed that Obama found the time to reach out to Native Americans, given all he's got on his plate these days. I know he's taken up other important causes and initiatives that escape Media attention, but to me this is really very special.

Posted by: valleyforge | November 5, 2009 11:58 AM | Report abuse

There was no mention of Native American land leases, although I did see one vague reference to "federal land management." These land leases have been a travesty for native peoples. The case drags on in federal court, the perpetrators (including the U.S. Government) facing decreasing liability as time goes on.

If this involved any other entity could it have dragged on this way? Would bad actors have escaped jail the way they have here? People who can figure out how to draft huge stimulus packages and bailouts can't calculate where the money should have gone? Who on earth believes this?

Posted by: redd1 | November 5, 2009 11:34 AM | Report abuse

Assimilation will save you. Self-marginalization will yield expected results. A community can assimilate and integrate into the greater American community without necessarily losing all of their cultural identity. The very idea of sovereign tribal land and reservations is pure self-segregation and counter productive. Hillary said it takes a village, and Obama learned the value of communities working together as a community organizer, so shouldn't it be apparent to the Administration that keeping a group apart is part of the problem?

Posted by: SUMB44 | November 5, 2009 11:23 AM | Report abuse

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