POSTING on Obama for America blog
May 5, 2008

Superdelegate Kalyn Free Endorses Barack Obama

CHICAGO, IL  -- Kalyn Free, an at-large member of the Democratic National Committee, today announced that she supports Illinois Senator Barack Obama for the party’s presidential nomination. As a DNC member, Free will serve as a superdelegate to the Democratic National Convention. Free is also founder and President of INDN’s List, an organization dedicated to recruiting and training American Indian candidates. 

This brings the total number of superdelegates to endorse Barack Obama to 258. Senator Obama is 276 delegates away from securing the Democratic nomination. 

Free said she was excited to see two qualified candidates emerge from the field of Democratic contenders.

“Today, I am casting my support for a new kind of leadership and a new possibility of what America can be.  Barack Obama is a once-in-a-generation kind of leader and the best hope the American people have to rebuild the erosion our collective foundation has endured the last eight years. In 2008, we must elect a President who will restore our faith in the possibilities of each and every American, including the First Americans. 

“As a member of the Choctaw Nation of Oklahoma, I am proud of what it means to be an American Indian. I am proud Barack Obama is committed to our unique issues and willing to tackle our toughest problems, from historical inequities and injustices to contemporary issues, like protection of our right to tribal self-determination, access to health care for our elders, and education for our children. Despite the threats that have faced our culture and our people, hope has lifted Indian people through the most difficult times. Because we remain connected to our past, our culture and our communities, we never gave up that hope. American Indians need not just progressive ideas but new and visionary leadership that inspire us to build a better future for all Americans. No President alone can rebuild the American public after eight years of George Bush’s disastrous policies and poisonous politics. I support Senator Obama because I believe the only way to rebuild America is to rebuild what makes us great – the hope and drive of the American people. 

“Senator Obama is committed to bringing American Indians into the national discussion and into the political process as voters, organizers, and leaders. He will start a two-way dialogue with Tribes by coming to Indian Country to seek solutions for our unique issues and by bringing Indians into his administration.

“For centuries the First Americans have had politicians talk to them, not with them. That kind of politics-as-usual leadership hasn’t worked for Indian Country, and it isn’t working for America. Senator Obama will forge a new era for the First Americans by looking for answers in Indian Country, not from Washington lobbyists.

“I am proud to stand in solidarity with another DNC Indian superdelegates Frank LaMere (Winnebago) in support of America’s best hope for a better tomorrow, Senator Barack Obama.”

Senator Obama said, “Kalyn is an effective and compassionate leader in the Native American community, and I’m proud to have her support. I admire the work she has done to build a grassroots movement, elect Native Americans to public office, and mobilize voters in tribal communities to become part of the political process.  And as President, I will work with tribal leaders and Kalyn to ensure that they have a true partner in the White House.  With Kalyn’s support, we’re going to bring about real change not just for the Native American community, but for all Americans.”