Photo caption above: June 13, 2014 – “The First Lady and the President hug Native American youth following a meeting with them at the Standing Rock Sioux Tribe Reservation in Cannon Ball, North Dakota. The Obamas were so moved by this meeting that they arranged for these youth members to visit them at the White House later in the year. A photograph from that visit also appears in this gallery.” (Official White House Photo by Pete Souza)
Post by: Raina Thiele, Associate Director of White House Intergovernmental Affairs ￼
On June 13th, 2014 President Obama, accompanied by First Lady Michelle Obama, made his first Presidential visit to Indian Country when he visited the Standing Rock Indian Reservation in North Dakota. While they were there, they met with six youth from the Reservation for a roundtable discussion and attended the Cannon Ball Flag Day Celebration. During the roundtable, the President and the First Lady invited the Standing Rock youth to visit them in D.C. Watch highlights of the trip here!
President Obama Engages Native Youth at My Brother’s Keeper Town Hall
In July, the President gave remarks at a town hall session to announce new commitments in support of this My Brother’s Keeper (MBK) initiative. Youth from the Center for Native American Youth’s Champions of Change program, the Native American Political Leadership Institute’s INSPIRE Initiative, and the Navajo Nation attended the town hall and asked the President about the Administration’s work to support Native American language and cultural preservation. The President reaffirmed his commitment to Native American youth and the importance of honoring one’s roots. Watch the full video here and read the blog post here! ￼
President Barack Obama and First Lady Michelle Obama Visit with Standing Rock Sioux Tribe Youth
The Standing Rock youth visited Washington, D.C. on November 20th, 2014. They met the President and First Lady in the Oval Office before going to lunch with them at We The Pizza/Good Stuff Eatery. ￼
Photo caption: Standing Rock Sioux youth and her huge piece of pizza at We the Pizza/Good Stuff Eatery with President Barack Obama and First Lady Michelle Obama. (Photo by the White House Office of Intergovernmental Affairs) ￼
President Obama Establishes the Generation Indigenous Initiative
At the White House Tribal Nations Conference on December 3rd President Obama announced the launch of the Generation Indigenous Initiative (Gen I). The program includes the National Native Youth Network, a program in partnership with the Center for Native American youth The Youth network, of which this website is a part, will support leadership development, provide peer support through an interactive online portal that links resources and tools, and empowers youth to become leaders within their communities. The White House, in cooperation with the Aspen Institute, will also host a high-level convening on challenges facing Native youth in February 2015. Watch the President’s full speech here!
Gen I Youth Ambassadors
The 2014 Tribal Nations Conference also welcomed the very first ever class of Gen I Youth Ambassadors! Thirty seven inspiring young Native people from across the country traveled to DC to attend the Conference and participate in a range of exciting activities, including a screening of MTV’s Rebel Music production: Native America, learning about the opportunities available to them through the federal government, and meeting Vice President Joe Biden and Attorney General Eric Holder!
Two of the Youth Ambassadors were featured in an MTV video about their experiences which can be viewed here!