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Holder: Obama making reservations safer

BISMARCK, N.D. — Attorney General Eric Holder said Thursday the Obama administration is keeping its promises to Native Americans by taking steps to make reservations safer, from giving tribes the power to prosecute non-natives who abuse native women to creating a task force on native children exposed to violence.

Holder delivered the keynote address to about 250 people gathered at the fourth annual Tribal Consultation Conference at United Tribes Technical College in Bismarck, just hours after the White House announced President Barack Obama will visit Cannon Ball, N.D., on the nearby Standing Rock Indian Reservation on June 13.

“We will not shrink from even the toughest challenges. We will honor our obligations to sovereign tribes. And for all of us, this is only the beginning,” Holder said.

The Obama appointee’s visit marked the first time a sitting U.S. attorney general has visited Bismarck since Robert F. Kennedy in September 1963.