Tex Hall: President Obama kept his promises to Indian Country

"Like most Native Americans, I jumped at the chance to throw my support behind President Obama in his 2008 campaign. Four years later, although some of my friends complain that President Obama has been unable to lift the economy out from the crater he inherited, I’ve decided that I am sticking with Obama in 2012. Here are the three reasons why:

1) Obama has kept his promises to us.

The year he took office, President Obama gathered tribal leaders to a historic White House meeting. When he told us, “You will not be forgotten as long as I’m in this White House,” I knew that those of us who had backed Obama in the election had made the right choice. I told my friends that they could count on him.

It’s safe to say, he has proven me right. President Obama has signed two of the most important tribal bills in a generation. First, he signed the Tribal Law and Order Act which gives tribes more authority to put criminals away, provides training and assistance to fight domestic violence and sexual assault, and opens a new path for tribes to regain jurisdiction they lost under Public Law 280. Second, he signed the Indian Health Care Improvement Act which finally made the law permanent and improves medical care, expands Medicaid coverage, and delivers assisted living and long-term care for 2 million Native Americans.

Over the past four years, President Obama has directed an unprecedented $3 billion in direct funding and bond authority to Indian country in order to create jobs, build new schools, hospitals and clinics, repair roads, start new energy projects, and strengthen tribal law enforcement. When he took office, President Obama reversed the Bush Administration’s longstanding opposition to the claims of Native American trust account holders, farmers and ranchers and settled both the Cobell and Keepseagle class-action lawsuits as well as individual tribal trust funds cases. And under Obama’s leadership, the United States endorsed the United Nations Declaration of the Rights of Indigenous Peoples."

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Tex Hall: Why I’m Voting for President Obama (Indian Country Today 10/26)

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