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President Obama Leaves Lasting Impact On North Dakota

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The words of President Obama will last with North Dakotans and those on the Standing Rock Reservation. One of his messages from Friday was "Every American, including every Native Americans, deserves the chance to work hard and get ahead." Hundreds gathered to hear the president speak on the relationship between the federal government and Indian Country, with a specific focus on Native American Indian youth.

Secret service, press and those from all around the area had all eyes on the sky Friday in anticipation of a historic arrival.

Spirit Lake Tribal Chairman, Russ McDonald, says, "On a national level, all of Indian Country was watching what was happening here."

When that moment finally came, it was an entrance North Dakota's never seen.

President Obama says, "Today, I'm proud to be making my first trip to Indian Country as President of the United States."

President Obama and First Lady Michelle Obama visited the Standing Rock Indian Reservation to discuss how to improve relations and conditions for the future, and also met with native leaders and children.

President Obama says, "Let's put our minds together to improve our schools. Cause our children deserve a world class education too. That prepares them for college and careers." 

McDonald says, "The main focus is to educate kids. If we have the capacity to do that within our communities then we're going to get the job done."

President Obama was in North Dakota for just one day, but Spirit lake Tribal leaders are optimistic about the impact of his visit.

McDonald says, "In regards to President Obama's administration. I'm very pleased and think that the other chairs that were present at the meeting were also very pleased with the visit."

President Obama says, "I believe we can turn the corner. We can break old cycles. We can give our children a better future. I know because I've talked to these young people. I know they can succeed. I know they'll be leaders not only across Indian Country but across America."

President Obama's trip was only the third by a sitting president to Indian Country in the last 80 years.