An Associated Press story about Barack and Michelle Obama’s visit today to the Standing Rock Sioux Reservation in the Dakotas mentions an astounding fact:
Obama is only the third sitting president to come into Indian Country in almost 80 years.
It’s three visits in 76 years, to be precise. “Indian Country” as a legal term includes reservation property as well as some related types of land. In the past 80 years the United States has had 13 presidents.
The Obamas will watch a traditional song-and-dance celebration and meet with tribal youth to discuss life on the reservation, where 63 percent of able-bodied workers are unemployed. The Department of Housing and Urban Development announced today that it would be making $70 million available for the improvement of tribal housing nationwide.