Lets Move in Indian Country

Office of the Secretary
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Today, we have two accomplished native young leaders who have dedicated their lives to basketball. Starting out on the Red Lake Indian Reservation with Ben Strong, and also over at the Wind River Indian Reservation, Tahnee Robinson. They're conducting an afternoon clinic here with the native youth in order to teach them to be active and be part of the "Let's Move! in Indian Country" started by the First Lady.

When they asked me to come to the White House, I said, "Oh, man, yeah! Got to get my tie out, my suit and tie and everything."

Very few people get this experience that I've been blessed to get. Even just to come to the White House alone, but also be a part of such a huge initiative that the First Lady has. It's, of course, just an honor to be a part of it.

We see some of the highest rates of obesity and diabetes in Indian country. It's because kids aren't eating well and aren't active enough. Starting from an early age, this program really aims to target the root issues, which is developing a healthy lifestyle from the start.

It's very big for us to get that message, especially to the younger generation, because they are the up and coming generation. They're the ones who are really going to be changing everything.

The kids are from all over the country. It's been a tremendous opportunity for them to interact with the role models that we were able to have here today.

I had older people before me that I looked up to. I said, "I want to be just like that guy." So, I did everything he did. I want to be able to be that guy for the next generation and hopefully change some lives.

A lot of the native kids don't have positive role models in their communities. Giving them a chance to come out here and interact with some people who have been successful both in sports and academics is a great opportunity for these kids to see people who came from the same communities they did and who worked hard and succeeded in both sports and academics.

I think that it means that they can make a difference in their lives, that they have a role model who, in fact, has come where they come from, been under difficult circumstances, and also made it out through various difficulties and various obstacles. They overcame those obstacles, and through perseverance and dedication made themselves into professionals who are modeling for our young kids across Indian country.

Let's move in Indian country!

[applause and cheers]

Last edited 4/26/2016