First Lady Michelle Obama is seen here with Dr. Felisa Gulibert, principal of Santa Fe Indian School. Mrs. Obama served as the commencement speaker on Friday, May 23.

Photo by Kerri Cottle

First Lady Michelle Obama is seen here with Dr. Felisa Gulibert, principal of Santa Fe Indian School. Mrs. Obama served as the commencement speaker on Friday, May 23.

14 Images from the First Lady’s Unforgettable Day at Santa Fe Indian School

Santa Fe Indian School Principal Dr. Felisa Gulibert used the word “elation” to describe her school’s response to hearing that First Lady Michelle Obama had accepted their invitation to speak at the May 23 commencement ceremony. And the day was as magical as they all anticipated.

First Lady Michelle Obama addressed a packed house at Santa Fe Indian School on May 23. (Photo by Kerri Cottle)

Photo by Kerri Cottle

First Lady Michelle Obama addressed a packed house at Santa Fe Indian School on May 23.

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When she walked in, she was greeted by cheers, a sea of cameras, and a standing ovation. She listened to the drumming and chanting and watching the Tewa Dancers of Ohkay Owingeh.

A group of students seen on graduation day, May 23 at Santa Fe Indian School. (Photo by Kerri Cottle)

Photo by Kerri Cottle

A group of students seen on graduation day, May 23 at Santa Fe Indian School.

The First Lady was presented with a gift of thanks for “protecting us as your own children,” and when she spoke, it was from the heart.

RELATED: An Unforgettable Day with Michelle Obama at Santa Fe Indian School

“So, graduates, I wanted to be here with you at your commencement because your values are my values—the values that carried me all the way from the South Side of Chicago to where I am today, standing before you as the First Lady of the United States,” the First Lady said as part of her prepared remarks.

First Lady Michelle Obama served as the Santa Fe Indian School Commencement speaker on Friday, May 23. (Photo by Kerri Cottle)

Photo by Kerri Cottle

First Lady Michelle Obama served as the Santa Fe Indian School Commencement speaker on Friday, May 23.

“I also wanted to be here because your stories—your achievements, your contributions and the story of this school—inspire me,” she continued. “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.”

Read her full speech here.

Laura Kay Eagles, a Tewa language instructor, waits to hear First Lady Michelle Obama speak at the Santa Fe Indian School Commencement ceremony May 23. (Photo by Kerri Cottle)

Photo by Kerri Cottle

Laura Kay Eagles, a Tewa language instructor, waits to hear First Lady Michelle Obama speak at the Santa Fe Indian School Commencement ceremony May 23.

Santa Fe Indian School Superintendent Roy Herrera speaks at the May 23 commencement ceremony. (Photo by Kerri Cottle)

Photo by Kerri Cottle

Santa Fe Indian School Superintendent Roy Herrera speaks at the May 23 commencement ceremony.

Salutatorian Chayanne Quintana (Ohkay Owingeh/Santa Clara) speaks at the Santa Fe Indian School commencement. (Photo by Kerri Cottle)

Photo by Kerri Cottle

Salutatorian Chayanne Quintana Ohkay Owingeh/Santa Clara) speaks at the Santa Fe Indian School commencement.

Santa Fe Indian School graduates are received by tribal leaders. (Photo by Kerri Cottle)

Photo by Kerri Cottle

Santa Fe Indian School graduates are received by tribal leaders.

Santa Fe Indian School graduates are received by tribal leaders. (Photo by Kerri Cottle)

Photo by Kerri Cottle

Santa Fe Indian School graduates are received by tribal leaders.

Santa Fe Indian School graduates for the class of 2016. (Photo by Kerri Cottle)

Photo by Kerri Cottle

Santa Fe Indian School graduates for the class of 2016.

Even the younger generations waited for the First Lady's speech with anticipation. (Photo by Kerri Cottle)

Photo by Kerri Cottle

Even the younger generations waited for the First Lady's speech with anticipation.

Even 10-month-old Natalyn Rose Loretto was in attendance for the First Lady's speech. (Photo by Kerri Cottle)

Photo by Kerri Cottle

Even 10-month-old Natalyn Rose Loretto was in attendance for the First Lady's speech.

Shanyna Naranjo (Santa Clara Pueblo), the senior class secretary, walks at graduation on May 23. (Photo by Kerri Cottle)

Photo by Kerri Cottle

Shanyna Naranjo Santa Clara Pueblo), the senior class secretary, walks at graduation on May 23.

Some of the 2016 Santa Fe Indian School graduates walk into commencement on May 23. (Photo by Kerri Cottle)

Photo by Kerri Cottle

Some of the 2016 Santa Fe Indian School graduates walk into commencement on May 23.

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14 Images from the First Lady’s Unforgettable Day at Santa Fe Indian School

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