At Reno Conference, Young Native Americans Mull Obama, McCain

RENO (AP) - About 1,000 young American Indians from across the
nation gathered in Reno have been urged to become more politically

They also have heard messages from Barack Obama and John McCain
at the annual United National Indian Tribal Youth (UNITY) conference at the Grand Sierra Resort. The five-day gathering on Indian youth issues ends Tuesday.

In a speech, a representative of the National Congress of American Indians said the Native American vote could make a difference in this year's presidential election.

Jackson Slim Brossy, of the nonpartisan group based in Washington, D.C., says the Indian vote has been a factor in some congressional races in recent years, and it's up for grabs this year as Obama and McCain both are trying to woo it.

Some attendees say they favor Obama because they identify with the African American candidate and his message of change, while others say they support McCain because he comes from a state with more than 15 reservations and better understands their concerns.

The conference, which drew Indians between the ages of 15 and 23
from about 24 states, also features panel discussions and speeches
on obesity and other health concerns, the importance of education, and fatherhood and families.

(Copyright 2008 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)

AP-NY-07-13-08 1946EDT