Column: Indian vote courted in presidential year
"Barack Obama was adopted into the Crow Nation and given the name "One Who Helps People Throughout the Land."

In the lead up to Tuesday's primaries in Montana and South Dakota, Hillary Rodham Clinton visited the Flathead Indian Reservation in Pablo, Mont.

The Democratic nominee will face John McCain of Arizona, co-chairman of the Senate's Committee on Indian Affairs.

"All of them at least have had some exposure to Indian country," observed Chickahominy Tribe Chief Stephen Adkins of Charles City County. "It's not a bad place to be."

It's an unusual place for American Indians as we approach the November election.

"I do think there's a difference in what we've typically seen, which is no attention at all," said Karenne Wood, a Fluvanna County resident and Monacan Tribal Council member.

Native Americans make up 1 percent of the electorate nationally and 0.3 percent in Virginia. But the 2000 presidential election placed that percentage in new light. "Folks have begun to understand that every vote counts," Adkins said."

Get the Story:
Michael Paul Williams: American Indians find new clout in presidential politics (The Richmond Times-Dispatch 5/29)

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