Shavaughna Underwood Meets President Obama During White House Tribal Nations Conference

 

Submitted by Quinault Indian Nation

Shavaughna Underwood represented the Quinault Indian Nation at the 2015 White House Tribal Nations Conference. Photo courtesy: Quinault Indian Nation.

It was an exciting day for 19 year old Shavaughna Underwood of the Quinault Indian Nation who was one of 27 Native American young people selected to attend the 2015 White House Tribal Nations Conference from across the county. It was the seventh such conference conducted by President Obama and his Administration since he took office.

“This president has done great things to strengthen the relationship between the federal government and tribal governments,” said Tyson Johnston, Vice President of the Quinault Nation, who accompanied young Ms. Underwood. This year’s conference had a special emphasis on the President’s commitment to increase opportunities for Native youth. “Investing in our youth is part of the President’s commitment to institutionalize the work he has done to improve our relations and make progress in such critically important areas as health, education, climate change, the environment and economic development. He has gone above and beyond in his presidency and it is important that these efforts continue,” he said.

The highlight of Ms. Underwood’s day was when the President hugged her. “He is an amazing man, who genuinely cares,” she said. She said this was evident to her when he brought some of the young participants at the conference on stage with him and truly listened to what they had to say about the issues.

“This experience really inspired me, and helped me feel that although we do face many challenges we can deal with them if we work together. I was very proud to be here on behalf of Quinault Nation and I am anxious to share the things I have learned when I get back home,” she said.

Ms. Underwood, a graduate of Taholah High School and a student at Grays Harbor College, also says she is looking forward to touring the White House tomorrow.

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