Letter: Clinton, Obama should debate Indian issues
"Montana and South Dakota are scheduled to hold Democratic primaries June 3. No other state is having a primary that week. In fact, there are no Democratic state contests in the two weeks leading up to June 3. With more than 125,000 citizens who identify themselves as American Indian in these two states, I believe we should urge the Obama and Clinton campaigns to come to an Indian reservation in Montana or South Dakota to debate Indian country issues.

It is important to note that both Obama and Clinton opted out of the Indigenous Democratic Network's "Prez on the Rez" debate held this past August on California's Morongo Indian Reservation. In fact, only Gov. Richardson, Rep. Kucinich, and former Sen. Gravel attended.

But with enough phone calls, letters and e-mails, we can be sure there will at least be a discussion within the campaigns about possible events in Montana and South Dakota and perhaps even a debate on a reservation.

Let's prove that point by requesting a debate in Indian country before the June 3 primary. After all, we Indians in Montana are every bit as important as Iowans or New Hampshirites, but traditionally receive nowhere near the same level of interest by presidential candidates."

Get the Story:
Jay Harris: Candidates should debate in Indian country (The Billings Gazette 3/16)

Related Stories:
Democrats seek Indian votes and Indian candidates (3/14)
Abourezk: Democrats have two Indian superdelegates (3/6)
Editorial: Indians deserve presidential attention (2/29)