On June 13, As President Barack Obama and the First Lady Michelle Obama made their way to visit the Standing Rock Sioux Tribe in North Dakota and meet with Tribal leaders, ICTMN and Indian country took the #PrezRezVisit hashtag Twitter Ball – and ran with it.
Within hours of first introducing the hashtag on Thursday, via a tweet by this correspondent @VinceSchilling, Thousands and thousands tweeted about the excitement, cautious optimism and speculation about President Obama and the First Lady’s visit.
— Vincent Schilling (@VinceSchilling) June 12, 2014
Shortly before President Obama was to land in North Dakota, the #PrezRezVisit hashtag had gained such steam and recognition, The Washington Post’s Abby Phillip reported on the “cautious hope” Native Americans were expressing.
“[O]nline, Native Americans have been determined to keep the conversation alive. More than 5,000 tweets with the #PrezRezVisit hashtag have been sent out so far, after the trend was started Thursday by Indian Country Today correspondent Vincent Schilling,” Phillips wrote in The Washington Post.
Immediately after posting of the tweet, Indian country and supporters jumped into action on #PrezRezVisit which only gained traction as the time for the President’s and First Lady’s arrival loomed closer. Within hours, the hashtag was trending in such places as Chicago, Philadelphia and Canada.
In addition to attention from The Washington Post, MSNBC’s Ed Show also dedicated a segment to Obama’s visit and the popularity of the #PrezRezVisit Hashtag.
The rest of the day was a true celebration of tweets with Indian country and the visit of the President and the First Lady.
Though President Obama was scheduled to appear earlier in the day as indicated on the White House Live Stream webpage, rumors that he would not speak until 6 p.m. ET prompted a lot of Indian time jokes.
In addition to the lighthearted teasing, others recognized Michelle Obama’s healthy Americans efforts:
There were many who were glad to see the culmination of efforts and the impressive showing of Indian country on social media and Twitter. While some took the time to criticize a few things that stood out to them like a lack of mainstream media coverage. Though the days events were covered by the Associated Press, CBS, Fox and NBC Nightly News with Brian Williams dedicated a segment to the visit.
Shortly before the President’s arrival, the event MC Tony Kill Bear Sr. became a social media sensation with his jokes about the Washington Redskins pointed at DC Officials, asking the Secret Service if they wanted to join the dancing, introducing everyone in the audience that he could and even recognizing the porta-potties – All of which was live streamed from the White House’s webpage.
When President Obama and the First Lady Obama finally arrived into the Cannon Ball arena, the #PrezRezVisit hashtag reached a frenzied pace, dancers were tweeting selfies, and so many in Indian country were expressing triumph, excitement and appreciation.
President Obama and Michelle Obama also listened to children sing to them in their Lakota language.
Some took the opportunity to start a meme from the day’s events.
While others shared their overall satisfaction with the historic day.
At the day’s end, thousands upon thousands of people in Indian country had expressed appreciation and even tears at the President’s speech and attempts to speak a few words of the Lakota language. After the President gave his speech, though the White House live stream shut down, hundreds of tweets with the #PrezRezVisit hashtag still continued well into the weekend – forever marking the visit as a historic moment in Indian country.
You can see highlights of the President’s visit in the archives at the White House Live Stream page here.