Following President Obama’s State of the Union Address on last Tuesday, an “Office Hours” schedule was released to encourage the public to ask questions regarding the speech and specific political, social, and community-focus issues.
The Native American Issues discussion took place Thursday afternoon on the White House Live Twitter account (@WHLive). Kimberly Teehee (Cherokee), Senior Policy Advisor for Native American Affairs at the White House Domestic Policy Council, and Charlie Galbraith (Navajo), an Associate Director in the Office of Intergovernmental Affairs and Public Engagement, fielded questions regarding tribal businesses, jobs, education, law enforcement and native language preservation. The questions and answers for each of the community-focused, as well as the issue-focused discussions can be reviewed on the WHLive Twitter page.
Another social media platform being used is YouTube. Questions were submitted and voted on by users and those top-voted questions will be answered by President Obama today and streamed on the site for the public to watch.
These innovative uses of social media provide a unique way for individuals and community groups to engage political leaders on the issues most important to them. It also provides a valuable opportunity to challenge the federal government on points made in the State of Indian Nations Address, delivered last week by National Congress of American Indians President, Jefferson Keel (Chickasaw).