By Lance A. Gumbs

When President Obama spoke recently at the 2014 White House Tribal Nations Conference, he told the assembled leaders from the 566 federally recognized tribes that his administration would “keep promoting economic growth in Indian Country, because every young person deserves the chance to work and get ahead.”

These were welcome words, as Pew Research Center data reveal 1 in 4 Native Americans lives in poverty, and Labor Department reports show the labor force participation rate of Indians is only 61.6 percent, the lowest of any race or ethnic group. The president called statistics like these “a moral call to action,” in a 2014 op-ed.

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