Presidential Hug: President & First Lady Obama hug a group of tribal youth after a meeting on Standing Rock Indian Reservation on June 13, 2014.
WASHINGTON — At the conclusion of each year, White House photographer, Pete Souza, chooses a number of photographs that chronicle President Obama’s year in still film. The gallery is simply called “2014: A Year in Photographs.”
The year-end gallery typically include photographs that are behind the scene photographs, which seldom make it to the press.
For 2014, there are two photographs American Indian youth that made the cut and are included in Souza’s gallery.
The first photographs with American Indians in the gallery was taken at the Standing Rock Sioux Tribe Reservation in Cannon Ball, North Dakota. President and First Lady Obama visited the youth prior to attending a powwow later in the day.
feeling like opportunities are foreclosed to them — because that’s not who we are.
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Standing Rock Sioux Tribe Youth Have Pizza with President & First Lady Obama in DC
Here is what President Obama said about meeting the Standing Rock youth during his speech before tribal leaders at the White House Tribal Nations Conference in December:
And so Michelle and I ended up staying longer than we had planned, and we got a lot of hugs in, and we walked away shaken because some of these kids were carrying burdens no young person should ever have to carry. And it was heartbreaking. And we told them, because they were such extraordinary young people –- strong and talented and courageous — we said, you’ve got to believe in yourselves because we believe in you. We want to give those young people and young Native Americans like them the support they deserve. We have to invest in them, and believe in them, and love them. And if we do, there’s no question of the great things they can achieve — not just for their own families, but for their nation and for the United States.
His meeting with the Native youth made such an impression on the President that he invited them to the White House for a tour.
“Fulfilling their promise, the President and First Lady have lunch with youth from the Standing Rock Sioux Tribe at a restaurant in Washington, D.C. Earlier in the day, the youth toured the White House and had meetings with the President and First Lady and other White House officials.”
(Official White House Photo by Pete Souza)
The Standing Rock youth made such an impression on President Obama, his administation announced in December the creation of the Native Youth Network, which brings together Native youth to seek solutions confronting American Indian and Alaska Native youth.
This coming summer, the White House will host a Native youth summit.