Gardening with the First Lady

by May 4, 2015COMMUNITY sgadugi0 comments


Cherokee youth participate in Michelle Obama’s White House Kitchen Garden event





It is not uncommon on a spring day to see Cherokee youth outside helping their parents or grandparents in the garden.  But, Taliquo Walker and Iwodi Toineeta, fifth graders at the New Kituwah Academy, recently worked on a garden with First Lady Michelle Obama.

The two EBCI tribal members represented Let’s Move! Indian Country at the annual White House Kitchen Garden event on Wednesday, April 15.  The event was part of the First Lady’s Let’s Move initiative.

“It was fun,” said Toineeta.  “It was a great time.  She (Michelle Obama) talked to me a little bit.”

Walker said they had a great time at the event and touring Washington, DC.  “It was fun.  We got to visit all of the Museums.  It was cool to meet the First Lady.”

He said he was proud to be able to represent all of Indian Country at the event.

Toineeta added, “I was proud and nervous all at the same time.”

In addition to Let’s Move! Indian Country, other initiative programs were represented including Let’s Move! Active Schools, Let’s Move! Childcare, Let’s Move! Cities and Towns and Communities, Let’s Move! Faith and Communities, Let’s Move Museums and Gardens, Let’s Move! Outside, and Let’s Move! Salad Bars to Schools.

“So, all these sub-initiatives have been developed over the course of this five years, and we’ve got two kids from every initiative who has been positively impacted by one of those initiatives,” First Lady Obama said at the event.  She also launched an interactive map during the event whereby children can find Let’s Move! Programs in their area.

First Lady Obama ended her opening remarks at the event by saying, “Well, let’s move.  Let’s get planting.”

Five new vegetables were planted in the garden during the event including:  broccoli, spinach, bok choy, radishes and lettuce.

Walker and Toineeta are active daily and try to live up to the tenets set forth in the Let’s Move program.  “We do P.E. every day, and I’m in a club for after school.  It’s called the Fun Fit Kids Club at the Ginger Lynn Welch Complex.  We do basketball, sometimes we swim, and we do a 30-minute workout before we play.”

Toineeta said, “When I get home, I ride my bike.”