White House Hosts First-Ever Tribal Youth Gathering

Washington, D.C. at the White House.

Washington, D.C. at the White House.

Earlier this month, the White House held the first-ever Tribal Youth Gathering, hosting more than 1,000 Native American students from 230 tribes in 42 states. Attendees met with First Lady Michelle Obama, members of the White House Council on Native American Affairs and cabinet officials.

What attendees heard from the First Lady is striking and true: “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. You all have a role to play and we need you.”

At the gathering, the White House announced that the U.S. Department of the Interior will issue $995,000 to 20 tribal colleges and universities and award seven tribal applicants $1.145 million to enhance their tribal education departments.

The White House is not just providing monetary support to Native Americans, it’s providing something our organization strives to achieve every day – a sense of hope. The First Lady didn’t skirt by the struggles Native Americans have faced. She recognized that America has not always “treated [Native] people with dignity and respect.” But she added, “Make no mistake about it, your customs, your values, your discoveries are at the heart of the American story.”

We’re looking forward to what President Obama’s Generation Indigenous (Gen-I), which aims to improve the lives Native American youth and cultivate the next generation of tribal leaders, brings in the future. The This initiative paved the way for the Tribal Youth Gathering, championing hope for a brighter future.

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