Topeka A Kansas tribal leader was among 12 Native American officials to meet with President Barack Obama at the White House.
The Topeka Capital-Journal reports that Steve Ortiz, chairman of the Prairie Band Potawatomi Nation, said he was shocked when he learned he was chosen to attend the Friday meeting with Obama and secretaries of health and human services, interior, and education.
One representative from each of the 565 federally recognized tribes and Alaska natives attended the third annual meeting with the president Friday. Ortiz said Obama is “committed to Indian country.”
During the meeting, Obama announced he had signed an executive order establishing a White House initiative on American Indian and Alaska native education. The initiative will be overseen by an executive director appointed by the interior and education secretaries.
Ortiz said tribal leaders also discussed such things as improving access to health care, education and housing.