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Tribal Leader: Obama Is the 'First American Indian President'

4:47 PM, Dec 5, 2012 • By MICHAEL WARREN
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President Barack Obama spoke to the White House Tribal Nations Conference of Native American groups at the Interior Department Wednesday. The chairman of the conference, Brian Cladoosby of the Swinomish Nation, reportedly suggested that Obama is the first "American Indian" president.

Official portrait of Barack Obama

"Think about it for a second," Cladoosby said, according to the pool report. "The president loves basketball. He has an Indian name, he knows what it's like to be poor and he hasn't forgotten where he came from. And his theme song is 'Hail to the Chief.' I think he definitely qualifies as the first American Indian president."

Earlier pool reports stated Obama was greeted by the group enthusiastically, including a shout of "four more years" from the audience. The president touted his adminsitration's efforts to "[expand] economic opportunities" and encouraged Congress to support Native American small businesses.

Update: According to a transcript of Obama's remarks, there may be something to the claim. The president memorialized a recently deceased leader of the Crow Nation, Sonny Black Eagle. "Sonny Black Eagle adopted me into the Crow Nation during my 2008 campaign," Obama said.

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