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Obama to Indian Country on 1st visit as president

Associated Press Updated: June 5, 2014 at 1:50 pm

WASHINGTON (AP) — President Barack Obama says he'll visit a Native American reservation in North Dakota next week on his first trip to Indian Country as president.

Obama says he and first lady Michelle Obama will visit the Standing Rock Sioux Tribe in Cannon Ball. He says the reservation holds a special place in U.S. history because Chief Sitting Bull lived there.

Obama says he's worked to strengthen justice, infrastructure and health care for Native Americans. But he also laments high Indian poverty rates and says he wants to hear firsthand about their challenges. He'll announce new initiatives during the visit to grow Indian economies.

Obama visited the Crow Nation in Montana reservation as a presidential candidate, but hasn't been back to Indian country since. He vowed last year to return in 2014.

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