By Mille Lacs Band of Ojibwe, July 14, 2015
First lady Michelle Obama spoke to Native youth at the White House last week, saying their customs, values, and discoveries “are at the heart of the American story.”
“Yet as we all know, America hasn’t always treated your people and your heritage with dignity and respect. Tragically, it’s been the opposite,” Obama continued.
Obama addressed the inaugural White House Tribal Youth Gathering, which brought together more than 1,000 youths from around the country. The conference featured sessions on safety, health and education, moderated by young people.
“Your traditions were systematically targeted for destruction,” she said, speaking about forced relocation, young people sent to boarding schools and other regulations that “literally made your cultures illegal.”