KUNM

Michelle Obama Addresses Santa Fe Indian School Graduation

Jun 6, 2016

First Lady Michelle Obama addressed the 105 graduating seniors of Santa Fe Indian School on May 26th.

Santo Domingo Pueblo graduate Fatima Garcia prepares to present First Lady Michelle Obama with a gift of a Pendleton blanket. Kerri Cottle

It was her her second-to-last commencement speech as First Lady. Her speech reflected the commitment that the Obama Administration has made to increasing its investment in Native youth education. After the First Couple's 2014 visit to the Standing Rock Sioux Tribal Nation in North Dakota, the White House launched the “Generation Indigenous” Initiative. The Santa Fe Indian School graduating class received $5 million in scholarship funding this year. 95% head off to college. Tribal youth leaders are pledging a “challenge” to action in their communities.  Gates Foundation scholar Shayna Naranjo, who is heading to Stanford University, describes her work as a Gen-I leader who has taken the Tribal Youth Challenge at her home of Santa Clara Pueblo. Ellen Berkovitch's essay on Michelle Obama's talk ran in the Atlantic on June 2d.http://www.theatlantic.com/education/archive/2016/06/michelle-obama-indian-school-commencement/485204/