With blanket ceremony, American Indians give Obama a warm embrace | BROADCASTING NEWS CORPORATION 24 LIMITED
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TOP NEWS With blanket ceremony, American Indians give Obama a warm embrace

With blanket ceremony, American Indians give Obama a warm embrace

Post by: Chief News Editor | Published: September 27, 2016 , 8:16 am | Category: TOP NEWS

President Obama wears a traditional blanket and hat given to him during the 2016 White House Tribal Nations Conference at the Andrew W. Mellon Auditorium in Washington Monday. (Photo: SAUL LOEB, AFP/Getty Images)

President Obama wears a traditional blanket and hat given to him during the 2016 White House Tribal Nations Conference at the Andrew W. Mellon Auditorium in Washington Monday. (Photo: SAUL LOEB, AFP/Getty Images)

Washington, U.S.A.-President Obama donned a Native American hat and blanket at his eighth and final White House Tribal Nations conference, symbolically wrapping himself in the mantle of what one tribal leader has called the “first American Indian president.”

“To blanket it to remember those we honor, those we lost, and those who are going to build our futures,” said National Congress of American Indians President Brian Cladoosby before wrapping Obama in a black-and-red blanket named, “Rhythm of the Land.”

Obama, grinning, called the blanketing ceremony “an amazing honor.”

“What a kind gesture for the honor song and the blanket and the hat. I have to say that I’m very glad that you also have a blanket for Michelle so she doesn’t steal mine,” he said. “She would, too. I’m just saying.”

The annual Tribal Nations conference was a hallmark of Obama’s Native American policy, bringing in tribal leaders for high-level consultations with administration officials beyond the Bureau of Indian Affairs.

“We’ve made a lot of progress for Indian Country over the past eight years,” Obama said. “And this moment highlights why it’s so important that we redouble our efforts to make sure that every federal agency truly consults and listens and works with you, sovereign to sovereign.”

And this year’s event had the feel of a farewell, as American Indian leaders lined up to recount Obama’s relationship with individual tribes and the entire Native American community. “This president has walked down the path with us,” said Marilynn Malerba, chief of the Mohegan tribe of Connecticut. “He has left his footprints for future administrations to follow.”

As Obama spoke, protesters outside the auditorium protested the Dakota Access Pipeline. Obama has not taken a position on the pipeline, which a number of tribes have opposed, but the Obama administration has put the project on hold while it reviews the process for approving such projects.
NEWS COLLECTED FROM USA TODAY.