Students from the Oglala Sioux Tribe joined First Lady Michelle
Obama at the White House on Wednesday to celebrate the fifth anniversary
of the Let's Move! initiative.
young members of the Oglala Sioux Tribe, Gabriel Brooks, far
left, and Avianna Garcia, second from right, help First Lady
Michelle Obama prepare a salad with a harvest of crops from
the White House Kitchen Garden. June 3, 2015. (photo by Andrew
Bahl for Indianz.Com)
Avianna Garcia, 9, and Gabriel Brooks, 10, shared a lot of face
time with the first lady as representatives of the Child
Care and Development Program on the Pine Ridge Reservation in
South Dakota. They also acted as ambassadors of Let's
Move! In Indian Country, a multi-agency effort aimed at reducing
rates of obesity among American Indian and Alaska Native children.
The two young tribal members came to the nation's capitol to
help Obama harvest the White
House Kitchen Garden, an activity that normally takes place
outside. Due to inclement weather, though, the event was moved inside.
Lady Michelle Obama speaks to youth at the White House. June
3, 2015. (photo by Andrew Bahl for Indianz.Com)
"We didn't want you to get soaked," Obama told about 20 youth
from various Let's Move! programs across the nation.
White House staff took care of the actual harvesting earlier
in the day but the kids still had a lot on their plates. "We're
going to do the fun part today and we're going to chop, cook, eat,
celebrate," the first lady said.
Obama kept Avianna and Gabriel at her side while they prepared a
salad from the harvest. She also sat at their table as they enjoyed
a healthy meal.
White House: The First Lady Celebrates the White House Kitchen
Garden Harvest with Let's Move! Students
The theme of this year's harvest centered on pollinators. Bees,
birds, butterflies and bats -- along with other creatures -- play
an important role in agriculture production by helping spread life.
"One out of every three bites of food we take in this country
is the result of a pollinator garden somewhere," said Obama, who
added a pollinator garden to the White House last year.
Obama first planted the kitchen garden in March 2009 to talk
about health and well-being issues in the nation. The effort eventually
evolved into launch of Let's Move! in February 2010.
Indian Country has long been an important component of the initiative.
Since the program's launch on the Menominee
Nation in Wisconsin in May
2011, dozens of tribes across
the nation have been promoting exercise, healthy eating and
other activities in an effort to combat obesity among their youth.
Lady Michelle Obama with Native youth at the White House Kitchen
Garden in June 2011. (photo by National Congress of American
Indians / Flickr)
Native youth also have played a big role at the kitchen garden
itself. They helped Obama harvest crops there in June 2011, when
they also planted corn, squash and beans -- otherwise known as the
sisters of Native agriculture.
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