First Lady, Michelle Obama, Speaks at Santa Fe Indian School Graduation

The First Lady of the United States, Michelle Obama, delivered the graduation address to the Class of 2016 at Santa Fe Indian School on May 26, 2016.

Here are a few of her quotes from the speech along with a video of the entire commencement address:

Quotes From Michelle Obama’s Graduation Address

“When you were first brainstorming about who to invite to your commencement and someone suggested me or my husband, some of you thought that that was an impossible dream, that it just wasn’t realistic to think that people like us would ever visit a school like yours. Well, today, I want you to know that there is nowhere I would rather be than right here with all of you.”

“My parents also taught me about giving back –- that when someone is sick, you show up, maybe with a home-cooked meal; when someone’s down on their luck, you quietly slip them whatever’s in your wallet, even if you’re not doing so well yourself.”

“As we all know, this school was founded as part of a deliberate, systematic effort to extinguish your culture; to literally annihilate who you were and what you believed in. But look at you today. The Native languages that were once strictly forbidden here now echo through hallways and in your dorm room conversations at night. The traditions that this school was designed to destroy are now expressed in every square foot of this building –- in the art on your walls, in the statue in your MSC building, in the Po Pay Day song and dance performances in your plaza, in the prayers and blessings that you offer in your heart room.”

“And whether you’re saying an ancient blessing over your hydroponically-grown crops, or using cutting-edge computer technology to understand the biology and hydrology of your ancestral lands, every day at this school, you’ve been weaving together thousands of years of your heritage with the realities of your modern lives.”

“As you begin the next phase of your journey, please remember that your communities need even more of your energy and expertise. They need you to bring home additional knowledge and skills to more effectively address the challenges your communities face. That’s why it is so important for all of you to hold fast to your goals, and to push through any obstacles that may come your way.”

“Graduates, all of these people, and so many more have worked so hard and sacrificed so much so that you could be sitting in these seats on this glorious day celebrating your graduation. And as we honor their legacy today, I’m reminded of how some of your communities have seeds that your ancestors have been planting and harvesting for thousands of years, long before America was even an idea.”
Here is a video of the entire speech:

Michelle Obama Commencement Address: Santa Fe Indian School



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