S.E. Ruckman: Tribes turn out for Obama inauguration
"American Indian attendees of the Jan 20 presidential inauguration of Barack Obama returned home tired but exhilarated last week. Tribal spectators from across the country gathered in Washington, D.C. to witness the swearing in of the country’s first minority president.

They were among thousands of Indians who braved cold weather to celebrate the related presidential events and who later attended an American Indian inaugural ball that drew around 3,500, officials said.

Grammy winner Micki Free, part of an all-Native group touring as ‘Native Rocks’ played at an event at the Hard Rock Cafe and at the inaugural ball.

“The first black president, ‘brown get down,’ we call it, ya know, it’s good for all of us, people of color. Obama has recognized us Natives. It should be good for all of us – fingers crossed,” Free said. “He seems like a real good guy… he’s the first black president. That’s pretty deep.”

Tribal leaders and representatives were also among those who attended. Leaders from the Chickasaw, Cherokee, Osage, Crow, Cheyenne, Seminole and Navajo Nations were among those tribes present.

Choctaw Chief Greg Pyle likened the inauguration to another historic event – one that happened in Germany nearly twenty years ago.

“I see this almost like the Berlin Wall coming down…this is a world event,” he said. “This has never happened before and people are so proud up here.”"

Get the Story:
S.E. Ruckman: Tribes turn out for inauguration events (The Native American Times 1/27)

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