Obama: Feds Will Help Indians with Nutrition, Mental Health, Internet, Climate Change

‘We’re going to keep dealing with your communities to deal with the very real impacts of climate change’

"The Department of Education has launched a new initiative with a handful of tribes called the Native Youth Community Projects. The idea is, we’re working with tribes to give schools and students intensive support across a range of areas -- from nutrition, to mental health, to culturally relevant curriculum. We know that learning about the history and language and traditions of one’s people can make a huge difference in a child’s education. And in the long run, if it’s done right, it can help more of them be prepared for college and careers. We want to help make that happen.

Number three, to cultivate the next generation of Native leaders, we’re creating a national network called Generation Indigenous, to remove the barriers that stand between young people and opportunity. And the first class of 'Gen-I' Youth Ambassadors are here today. We are launching a new National Tribal Youth Network to connect and support talented young people in your nations. And next year, we will hold the first White House Tribal Youth Gathering. (Applause) It will look a lot like this conference -- only younger. (Laughter) That’s all right, you see my gray hair. I can’t say nothing about that. (Laughter)

Number four, the budget I submit to Congress in February will include smarter, stronger investments in several areas that are really important to Native youth, especially education. We’re going to invest in connecting tribal schools to high-speed Internet. We’re going to fill them with the best teachers and principals. We’re going to make sure that children and families get the support they need to stay secure and healthy. And we are going to keep fighting to meet our obligations to your nations. (Applause)

We’re going to fight to reauthorize the Native American Housing Assistance and Self-Determination Act, because every young person deserves a safe place to live. (Applause) We’re going to keep promoting economic growth in Indian Country, because every young person deserves the chance to work and get ahead.

We’re going to keep working with your communities to deal with the very real impacts of climate change. And I want to thank the tribal leaders who have advised me on how to do that as members of my Task Force on Climate Preparedness and Resilience.

I also want to recognize those tribes that have done exceptional work in their response to climate change, including two that we named Climate Action Champions this morning: the Blue Lake Rancheria Tribe and the Sault Ste Marie Tribe of Chippewa Indians." (Applause) 

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