First Lady Michelle Obama speaks to Native American youth at the first White House Tribal Youth Gathering. She told hundreds of Native American youths that they are all precious and sacred and that “each of you was put on this earth for a reason”
More than 1,000 Native American children gathered Thursday for the first-ever Tribal Youth Gathering at the White House, where first lady Michelle Obama called them precious and sacred members of society. “Each of you was put on this Earth for a reason. Each of you has something that you’re destined to do, whether that’s raising a beautiful family, whether that’s succeeding in a profession or leading your community into a better future,” she said. “You all have a role to play and we need you.” The first lady touched upon the historical struggles of Native Americans: being forced from lands they had lived on for generations, requiring young people to attend boarding schools designed to strip them of their cultural traditions and outlawing their religions and traditional ceremonies. She urged the individuals to learn about their elected officials, and run for local, state or federal office if they aren’t satisfied with their current efforts. “Make no mistake about it, your customs, your values, your discoveries are at the heart of the American story,” she told the crowd. “And yet, as we all know, America hasn’t always treated your people and your heritage with dignity and respect.”
The meeting was part of President Barack Obama’s vow to remove barriers that make it hard for Native American children to succeed. The children came from 230 tribes in 42 states to attend the inaugural summit and meet with the first lady, cabinet officials and members of the White House Council on Native American Affairs. They planned to discuss issues ranging from cultural protection and revitalization, to tribal justice and economic opportunity. Along with the meeting on Thursday, the White House announced several commitments aimed at ensuring Native children can thrive. DOI will issue $995,000 to be distributed to 20 tribal colleges and universities, and will award seven tribal applicants a total of $1.45 million in new funding to build their tribal education departments. And in September, there will be a second Native Languages Summit to identify ways to preserve and revitalize Native languages.
Gusccavedo Harrison of the Navajo Nation who is from Chinle, Arizona, cheers as First Lady Michelle Obama mentions the Navajo as being among the Nations present as she speaks to Native American youth at the first White House Tribal Youth Gathering
Shasta Dazen of Whiteriver, Arizona, who is the 53rd Miss Indian Arizona, and Deandra Antonio, right, both of the White Mountain Apache Nation and who serve on the White Mountain Apache youth council, take pictures of First Lady Michelle Obama
For example, last night, France’s minister of foreign affairs, Britain’s foreign secretary, Germany’s federal minister for foreign affairs, and the European Union’s high representative for foreign affairs wrote a joint piece for the Washington Post, urging Congress to allow the talks to continue. This was no small development – the piece was written by the chief diplomatic officer (the equivalent of the U.S. Secretary of State) of some of America’s closest allies on the planet. If there are Republicans who argue that these allies aren’t as important as Israel, they should remember that even some top Israeli officials themselves believe that Netanyahu and GOP officials are pursuing the wrong course.
The Israeli intelligence agency Mossad has broken ranks with Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, telling U.S. officials and lawmakers that a new Iran sanctions bill in the U.S. Congress would tank the Iran nuclear negotiations. It’s going to be tough for anyone to argue that the international negotiations are anti-Israel when the Mossad is arguing otherwise. What’s more, note that the Anti-Defamation League’s Abe Foxman also believes the Republican gambit is a mistake. Foxman urged Boehner to rescind the invitation and urged Netanyahu not to accept it.