Editorial: Indians deserve presidential attention
"An Open Letter to Senators Clinton, McCain and Obama:

We haven't seen much of you here in South Dakota. These are the rules of the game, of course - our electoral votes are about the equivalent of Samoa or the Virgin Islands, and our timing, in terms of a primary election, is poor.

In this spirit, we're writing to invite you to visit South Dakota, specifically the Indian reservations that share this land.

Because even in an election year in which diversity has become more than just a buzzword, it seems those issues particular to Native Americans in South Dakota and around this region have been forgotten or ignored.

And Native Americans have unique issues and problems that demand special attention. The health care crisis fundamentally is different for Native Americans, of course. Tribal communities also often struggle with collapsing or collapsed justice systems. These are federal problems that will require your attention should you be elected in November.

Why come to South Dakota? Because it has one of the nation's largest Native American populations. Because its reservations are among the poorest. Because its Native American culture remains among the strongest.

Visit Pine Ridge, Sen. Obama, and talk to residents face to face about their struggles and successes. Stop at Wounded Knee and understand more fully how what happened there a century ago informs today's dialogue.

Travel to Crow Creek and Lower Brule, Sen. McCain, and talk about sovereignty and tribal gaming with the people who are best positioned to understand its value and its limitations. The keys to a casino, you'll find, aren't the same thing as a license to print money.

Make the trek to Crow Creek, Sen. Clinton, and listen to the devastating stories of so many young lives ended tragically, senselessly early by suicide."

Get the Story:
Editorial: Presidential hopefuls should visit S.D. for minority issues (The Sioux Falls Argus Leader 2/29)

Relevant Links:
Barack Obama - http://www.barackobama.com
Hillary Clinton - http://www.hillaryclinton.com
John McCain - http://www.johnmccain.com

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