Opinion: First Lady brings truth with remarks about Native youth

President Barack Obama and First Lady Michelle Obama met with youth from the Standing Rock Sioux Tribe in June 2014. Photo from Center for Native American Youth / Facebook

Student commends First Lady Michelle Obama for remarks at a Native youth conference that touched on forced removal, broken treaties and boarding schools:
Clearly the Obamas are strong allies for Native American nations.

But Michelle Obama has called for “fresh thinking” on issues concerning Native American youth, stating, “Given this history, we shouldn’t be surprised at the challenges that kids in Indian Country are facing today. And we should never forget that we played a role in this. Make no mistake about it – we own this.”

We own this.

The First Lady took partial ownership over a brutal portion of American governmental history.

Only 51 percent of Native youth graduate from high school, compared to the national average of 75 percent according to the Center for Native American Youth.

Violence and suicide are leading causes of death for Native youth, and teenagers are arrested at a rate three times the national average.

More than 40 percent of the Native American population is under the age of 24.

By acknowledging the role the American government played in the oppression of Native American nations, Michelle Obama has helped create an historic relationship between the White House and Native Americans.

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Cassidy Stefka: Michelle Obama makes history with Native American comments (The Doane Line 4/23)

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