"This is important not just so people have faith in their tribal government but also so that outside businesses feel more comfortable investing in our reservation," he said.
McCloud also appealed to lawmakers to invest in schools on the state's American Indian reservations, where he said only a quarter of the students who graduate from high school "are college ready."
Dozens of students from the Turtle Mountain reservation were in attendance, as was Gov. Jack Dalrymple.
"Open up your imagination and your wallets just a bit more and look at these young people — they are our future," McCloud said. "It is our fundamental obligation as leaders to ensure our children in our communities have the best possible education."
Yvonne St. Claire, an elementary school principal on the reservation, said she was proud of McCloud for making the appeal for better education and job training.
"Now it is the time to do it, with all of this oil money coming in," she said. "If we don't do it now, when is the time to do it?"
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