First Lady Michelle Obama models a handmade shawl she received from Director of Public Affairs for the Bureau of Indian Affairs Nedra Darling. (Photo: Lawrence Jackson/Associated Press) First Lady Michelle Obama continued her getting-to-know Washington tour
Mrs. Obama said the new policy adviser - whose name is expected be announced in a few weeks - would focus on "the well-being of Native American families and the prosperity of tribes all across this country."
"For those of you focused on meeting the federal governments obligations to the Native Americans, understand that you have a wonderful partner in the White House right now," she said.
This was Mrs. Obama's third speech before a crowd of federal employees. Mrs. Obama has promised to visit all of the cabinet-level agencies to thank employees for their service and to listen to their concerns. Last week, she visited the Departments of Housing and Education.
On Monday, she again pitched the president's economic stimulus plan as she did during her agency visits last week.
"At a time when so many Americans are out of work, sound energy and environmental policies are going to help create thousands of jobs through the economic recovery and reinvestment plan that Barack is out there promoting today,'' Mrs. Obama said.
The first lady was greeted by hundreds of workers, celebrated with a traditional Native American "Honor Song" and wrapped in a bright lavender shawl.
Nedra Darling, a spokeswoman for the office of the assistant secretary for Indian Affairs and a member of the Pottawatomie tribe, draped the shawl over Mrs. Obama's shoulders.
"It's a hard place to live and work," Ms. Darling said of Washington. The song and shawl "will provide her strength and courage and duration through her tenure and beyond," Ms. Darling said.
Article sent to me by Sheila Rocha.