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A Cedar Hat for Obama: At His Final Tribal Nations Conference

NCAI President Cladoosby Puts a Cedar Hat on Obama! At Obama's Final Tribal Nations Conference

As President Barack Obama took the stage at the 8th Annual White House Tribal Nations Conference (WHTNC) National Congress of American Indians President Brian Cladoosby broke the age-old rule from Politico that presidents should never wear a hat. Moments after the President took the stage, Cladoosby wrapped the President in a traditional blanket, then took off his own traditional cedar hat and placed it on Obama’s head.

With a huge smile, Obama tipped the cedar hat to the crowd while continuing to wear the blanket.

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

Obama told the crowd of hundreds of tribal leaders and Native youth he mostly wanted to say thank you.

“So today, the most important thing I want to say is thank you. After almost eight years as your President, I have been so privileged to learn from you and spend time with many of you while visiting more tribal communities than any other President. Standing Rock Sioux Tribe here? Choctaw Nation? Alaska Natives? My trips to your nations and communities are days that I will never forget,” he said.

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The White House Tribal Nations Conference is the result of the promise President Barack Obama made during a visit to the Crow Nation in May 2008 to host an annual summit with tribal leaders to ensure tribal leaders a seat at the proverbial governmental table.

See Related: White House Outlines Massive Outreach to Indian Country at Tribal Nations Conference

According to the White House, this year’s conference, which is the final conference of Obama’s presidency, marks the historic progress his Administration has made to strengthen the nation-to-nation relationship and build a more prosperous and resilient Indian Country.

Follow ICTMN's Vincent Schilling (Akwesasne Mohawk) on Twitter - @VinceSchilling

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