President Barack Obama made history over the weekend by addressing the annual Gathering of Nations Powwow. Although he spoke to the crowd via a giant TV screen broadcast from Washington (above), he is the first president to speak at this huge, long running powwow, now in its 27th year. (To see a YouTube of his talk, go here.)
He also sent Jodi Gillette, from the White House office of Intergovernmental Affairs. Gillette, who is from the Standing Rock Lakota reservation, welcomed everyone to the powwow just prior to the grand entry. The Gathering of Nations grand entry, in which over 3,000 people dressed in tribal regalia enter the stadium simultaneously, is considered to be the largest grand entry in Indian Country.
As always, the powwow was held in Albuquerque, N.M. This year, however, the event took place outside at the University of New Mexico Football Stadium rather than inside the university arena, a venue that was dubbed “the pit” by many. Obama touted the White House Tribal Nation Conference held this year and noted his signing of a bill permanently reauthorizing the Indian Health Care Act.