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THE WHITE HOUSE

Office of the Press Secretary


For Immediate Release April 17, 2000
                   PRESIDENT CLINTON'S TRIP TO BRING
                  DIGITAL OPPORTUNITY TO ALL AMERICANS

            BACKGROUND ON INDIAN COUNTRY: THE NAVAJO NATION
                             APRIL 17, 2000

ECONOMIC CHALLENGES FACING NATIVE AMERICANS

In the United States today, there are more than 2.4 million Native Americans that belong to more than 550 tribes. Almost everywhere, they face serious economic challenges:

BACKGROUND ON THE NAVAJO NATION AND SHIPROCK, NEW MEXICO

With a population of about 235,000 and covering an area of 16.2 million acres, the Navajo Nation is the largest Indian reservation in the United States.

Shiprock, NM, population 9,095, is the community on the reservation that President Clinton will visit. It lies in the northeastern corner of the Navajo Nation, not far from the point where New Mexico, Colorado, Utah and Arizona meet. The town gets its name from a 1,700 foot geological monument rising impressively from the surrounding plains. The Navajo face most of the economic challenges confronting Indian reservations across the United States, especially in building an Information Age economy.

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