2012 White House Tribal Nations Conference, Hosted By President Barack Obama, Washington, D.C.

2012 White House Tribal Nations Conference, Hosted By President Barack Obama, Washington, D.C.

On Wednesday, December 5th, 2012, the United States of America’s Commander-in-Chief, President Barack Obama, hosted the 4th Annual White House Tribal Nations Conference. In mid-November 2012, on behalf of President Obama, the White House Office of Intergovernmental Affairs and the Domestic Policy Council cordially invited the 566 federally recognized Tribal Nations to send a representative to attend the 2012 White House Tribal Nations Conference in Washington, D.C.; set for December 5th, 2012. The conference was scheduled to be held at the Department of the Interior’s Sidney R. Yates Auditorium. Each federally recognized tribe was invited to designate one representative to attend the Conference.

The California Valley Miwok Tribe (CVMT) designated Chairperson Silvia Burley to attend the 2012 White House Tribal Nations Conference, accompanied by Vice Chairperson Anjelica Paulk. Ms. Paulk would assist Chairperson Burley with the numerous pre-scheduled events surrounding the conference. While there, Chairperson Burley and Vice Chair Anjelica Paulk, not only greeted known friends, but had the chance to meet and make new friendships with other Tribal Leaders from across the United States. This year is the 3rd year that Chairperson Burley has been a participant at the White House Tribal Nations Conference as a designated representative for the California Valley Miwok.

While at the conference, it was a great pleasure to meet WWII Navajo Code Talker, the Honorable Cpl. Peter MacDonald Sr., USMC 6th Marine Division and Former Chairman of the Navajo Nation. Chairperson Burley also met the newly appointed Assistant Secretary of Indian Affairs, Mr. Kevin Washburn, and to bring more excitement to the experience, Chairperson Burley was able to shake hands with President Barack Obama and briefly speak with him. As the President was making his exit from the stage (after finishing his speech) Chairperson Burley put her hand out to shake his hand as he was passing by (shaking other Tribal Leaders hands along the way). Chairperson Burley said, “Mr. President, congratulations on your presidency, I’m looking forward to working with you over the next four years.” The President paused and placed both of his hands over her outstretched hand, and said, “Thank You… I too, look forward to working with you!” As the President proceeded to shake the next Tribal Leader’s hand, she grabbed her camera and snapped a few close up pictures.

This year was a very memorable year at the White House Tribal Nations Conference. In addition to the all the aforementioned events, Chairperson Burley noticed that CVMT’s tribal flag happened to be placed near the entrance where the President entered onto the stage to give his speech.

In closing, we at the California Valley Miwok Tribe would like to sincerely thank the Picayune Rancheria of the Chukchansi Indians, with a special thank you to Mr. Chance Alberta. None of these precious moments could have taken place without the financial assistance from the Chukchansi Linen, Inc. CVMT would also like to thank the Fort Sill Apache Tribe (with special thanks to Chairman Houzous) for their financial assistance in helping the California Valley Miwok Tribe to attend the 2011 White House Tribal Nations Conference.


Part 2 of 5
On Wednesday, December 5th, 2012, CVMT’s Chairperson Silvia Burley attended the 2012 White House Tribal Nations Conference hosted by President Barack Obama in Washington, D.C. Chairperson Burley glanced around inside of the Sidney R. Yates Auditorium, trying to locate CVMT’s tribal flag, which was recently sent to the Department of Indian Affairs main office in Washington, D.C., in January. The flag is normally on permanent display at the Department of the Interior, Bureau of Indian Affairs, alongside the other federally recognized tribal flags that are on permanent display throughout the year.Chairperson Burley was quite pleased to report to the Tribe that CVMT’s tribal flag was on display near the entrance where President Barack Obama would be entering to take the stage to address the audience. Be sure to click on the photo accompanying this article to see all three pictures. The California Valley Miwok Tribe sends its deepest thank you to the Bureau of Indian Affairs and White House staff that placed our tribal flag up near the entrance to the stage.
Part 3 of 5
On Tuesday, December 4th, 2012, the California Valley Miwok Tribe received a “Joy of the Holidays” card signed by President Barack Obama, First Lady Michelle Obama, and daughters Malia and Sasha, which also included the family dog’s signature print by the name Bo.The black and white illustration of Bo was designed by Mrs. Larassa Kabel of Des Moines, Iowa, which features the Obama family Portuguese water dog. Mrs. Kable’s painting was submitted to the White House for consideration to be possibly chosen as the White House holiday card for year 2012. The card features Bo running in deep snow, in front of a blurred White House.
Part 4 of 5
All at the California Valley Miwok Tribe warm-heartedly thank President Obama, First Lady Michelle Obama, their children Malia and Sasha, and Bo. Happy Holidays!!!
On Tuesday, December 4th, 2012, Chairperson Silvia Burley and Vice Chairperson Anjelica Paulk of the California Valley Miwok Tribe, toured the East Wing of the White House, located at 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue, Washington, D.C. The tour began on the east side of the White House, located near the corner of 15th and E streets. The White House has served as home and office for every U.S. president since John Adams became its first resident in 1800. At that time, it was known as the President’s House. The White House got its name during the war of 1812, when British forces marched into the city and set fire to the mansion, the partially completed Capitol, and other public buildings. The name “White House” arose from the coats of heavy white paint used to cover the fire blackened walls.Visitors are allowed to see only a few of the mansion’s 132 rooms. The White House was completely renovated and restored from 1948 to 1952. Some of the rooms that visitors get to peek into are: The Library, which contains volumes of history, biographies, fiction and the sciences, all by American authors. The Vermeil Room, which contains an extensive collection of vermeil (gilded silver) and is used for a variety of functions. The China Room was set aside in 1917 by Edith Wilson for displaying pieces of china and glass used by the Presidents. The Green Room, which once served as Thomas Jefferson’s dining room, is now furnished as a parlor and is used for receptions. The Blue Room is often used by the President to receive guests. The Red Room is used for small receptions, and has been a favorite of the First Ladies. The State Dining Room can seat 130 guests at dinners and luncheons. Carved into the fireplace mantel is a quotation from a letter by John Adams, “I pray heaven to bestow the best of blessings on THIS HOUSE and all that shall hereafter inhabit it. May none but honest and wise men ever rule under this roof.”The tour was very exciting, unfortunately Chairperson Burley and Vice Chair Anjelica Paulk were informed that cameras were not allowed. Upon entering the East Wing, there was a large sign which cordially invited guests to take pictures, when realizing this oversight, Chairperson Burley spoke to a White House tour guide, informing them that she and Ms. Paulk were told not to bring a camera. The employee responded that since there are so many holiday decorations throughout the East Wing, that cameras and photos are being allowed. As the Chairperson and Vice Chair began moving forward, a door to the left opened and Bo (the Obama’s family dog) came out into the foyer. Bo was so close to Ms. Paulk that she could have reached down and touched him. Although they were unable to take a picture, it will be one memorable White House tour.
Part 5 of 5
On Monday, December 3rd, 2012, Chairperson Silvia Burley, Vice Chairperson Anjelica Paulk and Tribal Attorney Rob Rosette of Rosette, LLP, met with the Department of the Interior, Bureau of Indian Affairs Director Mr. Michael Black and Ms. Hankie Ortiz, Deputy Bureau Director of Indian Services, Washington, D.C. office. Mr. Black and Ms. Ortiz were kind enough to oblige tribal representatives with a group photo to bring back to the Tribe. Since the Tribe has never had the pleasure of meeting either Mr. Black or Ms. Ortiz, this photo will be proudly displayed on the Wall of Achievement at the Tribal Office, located at 10601 N. Escondido Pl., Stockton, California, 95212.The California Valley Miwok Tribe would like to take this time to personally thank Mr. Michael Black, Ms. Hankie Ortiz and Mr. Rob Rosette, Esq., for agreeing to take this wonderful picture. Happy Holidays to you all.