Views: Louis Gray and Keith Harper on Obama

Louis Gray, the former publisher of The Native American Times, is holding strong to his opinion that Sen. Barack Obama (D-Illinois) isn't reaching out to Indian Country.

Gray, a member of the Osage Nation, criticized Obama for refusing to attend the Prez on the Rez forum. "Barack has come up with no Indian position or any effort to reach out to the Native community. His campaign strategy is a mystery. It is a little to the middle of the road; and you won’t find Native Americans in the middle of the political road, they remain on the fringe," he wrote on August 13.

That brought a strong response from Keith Harper, a member of the Cherokee Nation who is working for Obama's campaign. "Where other politicians seem content to repeat tired promises of the past, Obama has been working to craft new and different approaches and initiatives which at their core are about empowering tribal communities and enhancing self-determination," he wrote on August 24.

In a follow-up, Gray remains unconvinced, saying Obama's failure to attend the forum hurt his standing. "I can only guess since the other three couldn't be bothered to show up, had [no] history or interest in the Indian vote," he wrote. Sen. Hillary Clinton (D-New York) and former Sen. John Edwards (D-North Carolina) also declined to attend.

In related news, Obama's campaign announced a new page on his campaign website for Indian issues:

Get the Story:
Keith Harper: Native Times allegations of Barack Obama not factual (The Native American Times 8/24)
Louis Gray: How far does Obama Reach? (The Native American Times 8/25)

Relevant Links:
Barack Obama -
Prez on the Rez -
Indigenous Democratic Network -

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