In early September 2015, President Barak Obama visited Alaska to highlight climate change. While he was here, he traveled to Dillingham, becoming the first sitting U.S. President to visit rural Alaska since statehood, and the first to ever visit Bristol Bay.
During his trip to Dillingham, Obama met subsistence and commercial fishers at the Kanakanak Beach. They showed him how salmon are harvested and processed for subsistence food. Obama stated that Bristol Bay is one of our nation’s most important natural resources and needs to be protected.
Obama also attended a cultural event at Dillingham Middle School where the 4-H Native youth dance group, led by Sophie Woods, performed four Native dances. President Obama touched the hearts of not only everyone in the room, but our entire region and all of Alaska, when he joined the children for the final dance. Afterwards, Obama left the group with inspiring words to get an education and return to Bristol Bay to use their skills to help the communities prosper and keep our traditions alive.