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President Obama speaks about strengthening reservation communities

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news Grand Forks,

Grand Forks ND 2220 South Washington

Cannon Ball, ND (WDAY TV) - After a delayed start, President Obama took to the podium in Cannon Ball late this afternoon to speak to tribal leaders, community members, and the press.

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The main theme this afternoon was children.

Back in 2008 before Obama was elected, he pledged to help boost living conditions on reservations by expanding healthcare, improving education, fighting drug and crime issues and increasing housing opportunities for Native Americans.

Friday- When he spoke at the Standing Rock Reservation, he says his administration is eager to continue strengthening reservation communities... specifically through education reforms and economic development.

President Obama vowed to improve conditions for all Native Americans, but particularly for their children.

For youth, reservation statistics are staggering.

37% of Native American children live in poverty, only about 50% graduate from high school and the child mortality rate for Native Americans has increased 15% since 2000.

The President promised collaboration between the federal government and tribal governments putting minds together to build economic opportunities, safety and justice, and world-class education for everyone.

President Obama: “Our country has a place for everyone, including every single young person here and all across the Dakotas, and all across America, and that you're getting the support and encouragement you need to go as far as your hard work and talent will take you. This is my commitment to you. Every single young person here.”

After his speech, President Obama and the First Lady headed back on board Air Force One, after spending just a few hours in North Dakota.

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