"Native Americans, the first Americans, have always been a rich and vibrant part of our national heritage," Obama said.
Obama said he is committed to improving the federal government's relationship with American Indians and Alaska Natives. He cited the first ever White House Tribal Nations Conference, held last November, the recent signing of the Indian Health Care Improvement Act as part of the national health care reform law, and his appointment of two tribal members to White House positions.
One of them, Jodi Gillette, a member of the Standing Rock Sioux Tribe, attended the powwow on behalf of the Obama administration. She was joined by Michael Strautmanis, another White House official.
Obama is the first sitting president to address the Gathering of Nations. In 2000, former vice president Al Gore attended the powwow while he was campaigning for president.
For more on Obama's attitudes, see Obama Refuses to Use G-Word and "Moral Compass" in America: The Story of Us.
I'm not happy with the White House Tribal Nations summit. Those of our nations/tribes/bands who are not federally recognized were left out. It's as though Obama's saying we're not good enough... though in my band's situation, The US actually went up to Canada to find non-tribal members to sign the McCumber Treaty of 1892, when neither our ancestors nor our leader Chief Little Shell would agree to sign the treaty. This left us no longer Federally Recognized. Obama's words mean nothing to me anymore. Honestly, any words coming from the US gov't no longer have meaning to me.
I think it's highly sad a bunch of GON'ers are actually happy and excited to have been addressed by the President via video... I think if he truly had respect for us, he'd have just not bothered with the video and might actually do something with his governmental powers... like give us back all the sovereignty stolen from NDN Country by the Washington State Accords, so valiantly fought for by that racist pig Slade Gorton.
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