Student from Nooksack Tribe focused on traditions after tragedy

Hamilton Seymour introduces First Lady Michelle Obama at the White House Tribal Youth Gathering in Washington, D.C., on July 9, 2015. Photo by Tara Houska / Twitter

Hamilton Seymour, a young member of the Nooksack Tribe of Washington, introduced First Lady Michelle Obama at the first-ever White House Tribal Youth Gathering last week.

Seymour, 15, described the experience as "surreal," The Olympian reported. The student was hand picked to deliver the introduction from nearly 1,000 youth who attended the historic event.

“In the last year, he’s just blossomed into this natural leader on a national platform, and to me that is just so inspiring," Sarah Scott, 21, a mentor for Native youth in Washington, told the Olympian.

Indianz.Com SoundCloud: First Lady Michelle Obama at White House Tribal Youth Gathering

The Center for Native American Youth named Seymour as one of its Champions for Change this year. Following the suicide of his father, he turned to his tribe's traditions and helped organize a group of young canoe paddlers.

“What paddling is doing for us is getting us stronger — obviously physically, but also mentally, spiritually and emotionally,” Seymour told the Olympian.

Seymour will be a junior at Mount Baker High School in the fall.

Get the Story:
When tragedy struck, Nooksack boy found healing in a canoe (The Oympian 7/12)
White House Hosts Tribal Youth, The 'Heart Of The American Story' (NPR 7/12)
Michelle Obama Visits First Native American Youth Summit (AP 7/12)
Navajo Prep students participate in White House Tribal Youth Gathering (The Farmington Daily Times 7/12)
Nooksack teen introduces Michelle Obama at tribal gathering (The Bellingham Herald 7/10)
Minnesota students active at White House Tribal Youth summit (The Minneapolis Star Tribune 7/10)
Alaska Teens participate in D.C. gathering; Processing traditional foods (KNBA 7/10)
Arizona youth among 1,000 at first White House Tribal Youth Gathering (Cronkite News 7/10)
First lady addresses first White House Tribal Youth Gathering (CNN 7/9)
Northland represented at first-ever Tribal Youth Gathering at nation's capital ( 7/9)
Fort Hall teens visit White House for tribal youth summit (The Idaho State Journal 7/9)
First Lady wows crowd at White House Tribal Youth gathering (APRN 7/9)

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