FLATHEAD INDIAN RESERVATION, Montana – Hillary Clinton took her campaign for the Democratic presidential nomination to an Indian reservation where she received applause, thanks – and new footwear.

“You’ve gone a million miles for the Indian people — here are a pair of moccasins to help you on your journey,” Joe McDonald, president of Salish Kootenai College, said on Tuesday in presenting Clinton the gift.clinton1.jpg

A crowd of several hundred roared approval.

Drawing more applause, Clinton said, “We need a president next January who understands the obligation that the United States government has to the tribes that represent the first people of the United States.” 

As first lady, and now a U.S. senator from New York, Clinton has worked to upgrade health care, education and economic opportunities for native Americans, many of whom live in poverty.

In Montana, there are about 56,000 American Indians among seven tribes, making up  6.2 percent of the state’s population.