Tribal Members React to Obama Visiting Standing Rock - KXNet.com - Bismarck/Minot/Williston/Dickinson-KXNEWS,ND

Tribal Members React to Obama Visiting Standing Rock

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Reaction on the Standing Rock Sioux Reservation does not seem mixed.

Almost everyone we talked to is excited for the presidential visit.

"Powwow's have been steadfast throughout the years for just one small part of our culture...to celebrate. You know, that's what powwows are, we celebrate," says Don Grey Day.

This year their powwow celebration will have an especially honorable guest.

"I think it's really good that he's coming here because it kind of makes us feel like we're not forgotten," says Tiffany Baker.

No, President Obama has not forgotten about the Standing Rock Sioux Tribe.

After it was announced he would visit an Indian Reservation, some speculated that he would go to a reservation... rich with oil activity.

Instead, the President chose to visit Standing Rock.

"I was very surprised just for the fact that it's Standing Rock. There's no oil here," says Grey Day.

"I think it's good that he's coming for a positive reason which is to learn about our culture and our way of life instead of coming here for something that is kind of drawing a lot of bad and negative attention such as the oil fields and all that. I think it's really good that he's coming here on a positive note," says Tiffany Baker.

"We tend to concentrate on the bad things and the alcoholism and drug abuse and the poverty but on the other hand there's many, many beautiful things that happen here," says Courtney Yellow Fat.

In just over a week these powwow grounds here at Cannon Ball will be filled with celebration. Courtney says the tribes have faced dark times but there's also light. He's excited for the President to see just how much they love their land and where they're from.

"I hope he takes something back in his mind and in his heart about our beautiful cultures and how we get along and take back some of the struggles that we have still today but take back the happiness and the light that always occurs here also," says Yellow Fat.

Joe Dunn, a Tribal Council Representative for the Long Soldier District spoke with us off camera and says, he's pleased and honored the President is coming to express his good will.

He says they have faith in the administration for efforts made in Indian Country.

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