First Lady Michelle Obama welcomed American Indian leaders and children to the White House in June for a special Kitchen Garden planting and harvest in honor of the launch of Let's Move in Indian Country (LMIC), the newest sub-initiative for her childhood obesity campaign. On Monday, July 11, LMIC gets another White House nod. Balls will be flying and sticks will be twirling on the South Lawn when American Indian and DC kids join tribal lacrosse experts and professional lacrosse stars for games and drills.
At Monday's 10:00 AM event, lacrosse stars Danny Glading, Matt Danowski, Brett Bucktooth, and Jenny Collins will teach the kids both the modern and traditional forms of the game, joined by renowned Haudenosaunee traditional Lacrosse Stick Maker Alf Jaques, Faithkeeper of the Turtle Clan of the Onondaga Nation of the Iroquois Confederacy Oren Lyons and Iroquois Confederacy Tadodaho Sid Hill. Let's Move in Indian Country is designed to encourage Native American and Alaska Native communities to use "culturally proficient" strategies that incorporate their heritage and traditional practices into healthy eating and fitness initiatives. (Above: Jacques in his workshop, making a traditional wood lacrosse stick)
Leadership from the White House, the Department of the Interior, and staff from the National Museum of the American Indian will also participate. The event is part of Mrs. Obama's South Lawn Series, launched last summer to open the White House grounds for recreational activities. Representatives from Major League Lacrosse, the National Lacrosse League, Iroquois Nationals and Metro Lacrosse will also attend.
*Read the First Lady's Letter about the launch of Let's Move in Indian Country [PDF].
To date, LMIC is the only Let's Move! component that has been launched that is specifically designed for a cultural and racial minority, and is being run by a partnership that includes the White House Domestic Policy Council and the Departments of the Interior, Agriculture, Health and Human Services, and Education. The webpages for LMIC are located on the Department of the Interior's website. The White House recently launched its own webpage for Native Americans. (Above: Mrs. Obama, Jefferson Keel, President of the National Congress of American Indians, and helpers in the Kitchen Garden in June, planting traditional Native American crops)
Native American related: In June, President Obama praised the final approval in Federal District Court of the landmark $3.4 billion settlement for the 15-year-old Cobell vs. Salazar class action suit, which held that the federal government had systematically stolen or squandered billions of dollars in royalties intended for American Indians.
*Jacques photo by John Berry/Post Standard; garden photo by Eddie Gehman Kohan/Obama Foodorama