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Nine North and South Dakota tribal leaders endorse Hillary Clinton






A supporter of Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Clinton. Photo from Facebook

The leaders of nine tribes in North Dakota and South Dakota have endorsed Democrat Hillary Clinton for president.

Chairman Mark Fox of the Mandan, Hidatsa and Arikara Nation and Chairman Harold Frazier of the Cheyenne River Sioux Tribe made the announcement on Wednesday. They said the former Secretary of State and former U.S. Senator was the best choice for Indian Country.

"Hillary Clinton represents positive opportunity for continued economic and social development in Indian Country," Fox said in a statement released by the campaign. "She has a proven track record in supporting legislation and initiatives that benefit indigenous nations throughout the United States."

“Secretary Clinton has shown through her decades of public service her respect for tribal sovereignty and the sacred trust between the United States and our native nations. As president, Secretary Clinton will be a strong voice for Indian Country," Frazier added.

The announcement comes ahead of Tuesday's Democratic primary in South Dakota. Clinton has not personally visited the state but has sent former president Bill Clinton and other surrogates there, The Sioux Falls Argus Leader reported.

In contrast, Bernie Sanders made three stops in the state last month. One was on the Pine Ridge Reservation, home to the Oglala Sioux Tribe, whose leader has endorsed the Senator from Vermont.

“There is a lot of pain in the community,” Sanders told tribal members on May 12, according to his campaign. “We’ve got a lot of work to do but nothing ever good happens if people give up. You’ve got to stand up and be involved in the political process.”

Native Americans represent nearly 9 percent of the population in South Dakota, according to the U.S. Census Bureau. In the past, their votes have played a key role in determining the outcome of elections.

But it's not a given that tribal endorsements for any particular candidate will sway those votes. In Washington, a slew of tribal leaders came out for Clinton but Sanders won the state in March.

The list of North Dakota and South Dakota tribal leader endorsements for Hillary Clinton follows:
Chairman Harold Frazier, Cheyenne River Sioux Tribe
Chairman Brandon Sazue, Crow Creek Sioux Tribe
Chairman Anthony Reider, Flandreau Santee Sioux Tribe
Chairman William Kindle, Rosebud Sioux Tribe
Chairman Robert Flying Hawk, Yankton Sioux Tribe
Chairman Mark Fox, Mandan, Hidatsa, and Arikara Nation
Chairman Richard W. McCloud, Turtle Mountain Band of Chippewa Indians
Chairman Dave Archambault II, Standing Rock Sioux Tribe
Chairman David Flute, Sisseton Wahpeton Oyate

Get the Story:
Tribal chairmen endorse Clinton for president (The Sioux Falls Argus Leader 6/2)

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