President Obama praises Comanche Nation woman in speech

An excerpt from a letter to President Barack Obama from Lindsay Early. Image from White House

President Barack Obama connected his eight years in office to his 2008 campaign during his final White House Tribal Nations Conference on Monday.

During his speech, Obama said he received a letter from Lindsay Early, a young member and employee of the Comanche Nation of Oklahoma, earlier this year. As a freshman in college in 2008, she attended one of his campaign events in Texas and was thankful that he kept his promises to Indian Country.

"My position requires me to keep our tribal leaders apprised of federal policies and proposed legislation regarding water rights, economic development, sovereignty, natural resources, and the Indian Child Welfare Act," Early wrote in the letter, a copy of which was posted by the White House on Medium. "Because of this, I know firsthand how your policies have reinvigorated Indian Country and allowed tribes the opportunities to continue working hard to improve the lives of our citizens."

But Obama also said Early, a single mother, has made some achievements of her own. After completing college, she has worked for her tribe in various capacities and has become a teacher.

"So you listen to somebody like Lindsay, who understands she's in charge of her own destiny and is now able to transmit that to the next generation, and how can you not be optimistic about this country's future?"Obama said on Monday." How can you not be optimistic about the future of all of the nations represented here?"

The full text of Early's letter, and Obama's response to it, can be found on Medium.

Read More on the Story:
Asked and Answered: A President for Indian Country (Medium 9/26)

Additional Coverage of the White House Tribal Nations Conference:
Obama tells Oklahoman's story at final tribal conference (The Oklahoman 9/27)
Tribal leaders give Obama high marks for Native American relations (Cronkite News 9/26)
Obama tells tribal leaders, ‘I hope I’ve done right by you’ (The Washington Post 9/26)
Coolidge got a headdress, and Obama got a hat (The Washington Post 9/26)
With blanket ceremony, American Indians give Obama a warm embrace (USA Today 9/26)
Obama dons hat, blanket during Tribal Nations ceremony (CNN 9/26)
President Obama Dons Ceremonial Hat and Blanket at White House Tribal Nations Conference (Time 9/26)
Obama Honored as ‘Adopted Son’ by American Tribal Nations Leaders (Voice of America 9/26)
Tribes honor President Obama at 8th White House Tribal Summit (KNBA 9/26)
Alaska's Byron Nicholai gets a presidential audience (Alaska Dispatch News 9/26)
Obama defends work on tribal issues (The Hill 9/26)
Mike Williams Sr. Represents Akiak At The 2016 White House Tribal Nations Conference (KYUK 9/26)
Call him Black Eagle: Obama presented with a customized traditional blanket and a hat during Tribal Nations Conference (The Daily Mail 9/26)

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