President Obama visits Rock Sioux Tribal Nation

Today, President Obama and First Lady Michelle visited the Standing Rock Sioux Tribal Nation in Cannon Ball North Dakota.

The pair participated in a roundtable discussion with Native American Youth and tribal officials. The president gave remarks during the Cannon Ball Flag Day Celebration.

The president's visit comes at a time when a much heated debate over the use of the name Redskin for the Washington Redskins professional football team continues to stir up controversy among some Native Americans

Last year during an AP interview, the president told a reporter he thought the team should change the name.

“If I were the owner of the team and I knew that there was a name of my team — even if it had a storied history — that was offending a sizeable group of people, I’d think about changing it...

From the White House:

President Obama's firm belief [is] that tribal leaders must have a seat at the table.  To make this commitment a reality, the President has hosted the White House Tribal Nations Conferences with tribal leaders every year he has been in office, and last year, he established the White House Council on Native American Affairs to ensure cross-agency coordination and engagement with Indian Country. 

You may recall us mentioning the anti-Redskins ad that ran this week during Game 3 of the NBA Finals between the Miami Heat and the San Antonio Spurs in which Native Americans showcased their historical pride in opposition of Washington's professional NFL team, the Washington Redskins.

The issue of the use of the Redskins name still leaves a bad taste for some Native Americans as the team continues to defend its use of the name, while some Native Americans see the use of the name as pride in their heritage.

To that point, the Washington Redskins state that "hundreds and hundreds of Native Americans have written to us expressing an opposing point of view" of the name being a racial slur.

 ‘I am 100% Native American from the Tsimshian Tribe [Alaska]. I back the REDSKINS with all my heart, soul and body... I as a Native American have never had any issues with the name. I have always believed that the Native Americans have lacked any sense of placement in the USA. But the Washington Redskins gives us so much happiness and pride and loyalty to our past.’
                 - Janine Palma VanDenBerg

· ‘As a LOYAL REDSKINS FAN for over 22 years, and as a NATIVE AMERICAN, I don't find the name offensive, I would find it offensive if you changed the name, you would be wiping out MY history.’
                 - Patricia Felt (Iroquois Tribe)

Earlier this year, the Washington Redskins' owner, Dan Snyder, started The Washington Redskins Original Americans Foundation to "honor" Native Americans.

''It's not enough to celebrate the values and heritage of Native Americans,'' Snyder said in a letter to the team's fans. ''We must do more.''

Petition started to Change The Mascot