President Obama received an unexpected honorific before his speech with Native American tribal leaders Wednesday afternoon, with Swinomish Nation Chairman Brian Cladoosby proclaiming him “the first American Indian president.”
“Think about it for a second,” Cladoosby said. “The president loves basketball. He has an Indian name, he knows what it’s like to be poor and he hasn’t forgotten where he came from. And his theme song is ‘Hail to the Chief.’ I think he definitely qualifies as the first American Indian president. ”
The president was addressing more than 500 tribal leaders gathered in Washington for the Tribal Nations Conference. In addition to the president, eight Cabinet members, including Interior Secretary Ken Salazar, addressed the crowd.