President Barack Obama is planning to visit a North Dakota Indian reservation in June, officials familiar with the plans told the Washington Post.
It is not clear which reservation Obama plans to visit, but his senior policy advisor for Native American Affairs, Jodi Gillette, is a member of the Standing Rock Sioux Tribe in North Dakota. Her brother is the chairman there as well.
“I would be excited at the prospect of having a president visit an Indian reservation to see some of the challenges and opportunities in Indian country,” former Sen. Byron Dorgan (D-North Dakota) told the Washington Post.
Dorgan also said a reservation visit would make sense.
“Each year of his presidency, Obama has held tribal nations conferences that have been very beneficial,” Dorgan told the Washington Post. “It would be a logical extension and equally beneficial for him to see firsthand what is happening on Indian reservations.”
And it wouldn’t be Obama’s first visit to a reservation. In 2008, when he was a presidential candidate, he visited the Crow Reservation in Montana. While there, a couple formally adopted him and gave him the Indian name Barack “Black Eagle,” which means “One Who Helps People Throughout the Land.”
This visit will fulfill a promise Obama made last year during the White House Tribal Nations Conference to visit Indian country.