President Barack Obama, raising money for his campaign among tribal leaders, said Friday he wants American Indians to be "full partners" in the economy.
Obama met with 70 to 75 supporters from Native American tribes. Democratic officials said the fundraiser would benefit the Obama Victory Fund, a joint committee of the Obama campaign and the Democratic National Committee. Tickets started at $15,000.
Obama told participants that he has worked to include American Indians in his administration and wants Native Americans to be "full partners in our economy." The president noted that he had signed laws to improve health care for Native American tribes and pushed for better educational opportunities and more improvements to tribal economies.
"We want new businesses and new opportunities to take root on the reservations," Obama said. Attendees included Democratic National Committee chairwoman Debbie Wasserman Schultz, a Florida congresswoman, and former Rep. Patrick Kennedy, D-R.I.
Obama raised more than $220 million for his re-election campaign and the Democratic National Committee in 2011. The president returned to Washington after completing a three-day, five-state trip following his State of the Union address.
When Obama ran for president in 2008, he visited Montana's Crow Indian reservation and was adopted into the nation during a private ceremony.
Obama quipped, "If my adoptive parents were here, I know what they'd say, "Kids just grow up so fast."