We R Native Ambassadors

Read their stories
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Alexis Elmore

Alexis, Pit River, imagines all Native youth living in communities, maybe a small town for example, and in that town they have citizens that are soaked in rich quality education about their culture.

This is the ideal idea i strive for in the small heart warming community i live in and near by towns. But sadly it is not much like that. I live in a small town in Northern California called, Burney. As a young native American I see and hear all around me. Learning and picking up on things from my peers and elders. Even though I maybe learning these lessons, others may not. As a member of my Tribe and community I can see that many youth don't know much about our culture, and may feel different from the students around them. There are not many cultural classes and limited amount of influences in my community. I live in the home town of my tribe, The Pit Rivers. I believe being an Ambassador would heal and bring the Native American culture in our community together. It honestly shows that the youth need more of a cultural push to it. The youth need to feel more comfortable with their past, and their cultural scene that they don't know much of. I feel it would be fun and beneficial for my small town to have this program in it. As a Ambassador i could communicate, teach, get youth involved and spread the word of We R Native. Living in a White, Mexican and Native American enclosed town, cultural diversity doesn't come much to be honest. Even though with my age (15) I do show a great amount of actions and courage to bring our culture to the light. I feel passionate to show it off also. I am highly passionate to share my courage and guidance to others and also a broadcast and taste of our heritage. I feel exposing our society with this, will help with racism and bullying that some youth can be facing. In the community as a young Native American woman I am able to show my cultural dancing, history and more. But the number one thing I am really proud to show is my dancing, along with the stories behind it and why it means so much to me. I feel it's a personal and cultural action that I can express with them in a close way. I am a northern Buckskin Dancer, i travel to powwows in California, Oregon, Washington and Nevada. As a dancer I can see and respect other tribes culture and heritage. I feel that I am passionate about my heritage and I am easily able to broadcast it. Most of the beliefs of your tribe usually have stories that set examples and show what will happen if you don’t listen to your elders or parents. These stories are told and have morals behind them. Telling upon the history and meaning behind everything. But all the elders are passing away and don't really pass on there culture much anymore. I have a great amount of knowledge on our local tribal history. Being a dancer I live with these stories to guide me through and help me avoid bad situations. I am also relate-able to most and just a bright soul so it makes me an easy person to communicate with. I feel that I would be a figure for someone to come to if needed or just a person to talk with. I also have experience of talking to groups of small and large amounts. Talking does come easily to me, I have been running and conducting the Native American Dd. Assembly since I was in 8th grade. I feel that I can contribute a great amount of things for this position.

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Analouise Hoseth

Analouise, Yupik, believes she can learn more about her culture and other cultures by promoting positive impacts throughout Indian country.

One thing I am passionate about sharing with others in my community is native dance (yuraq). It strengthens our use of the Yup'ik language, keeps us physically active, and allows us to get in touch with our spirit. I am passionate about sharing Native dances with my community because it allows us to come together as one. I will contribute positivity. I have a positive attitude while working on tasks, and enjoy helping others.

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Angela Blodgett

Angela, Yakama, wants to be a We R Native Youth Ambassador to show young natives that we can be more than what other races and people say we are.

I want to show natives all around that we can make a change. I am passionate about sharing with people in my community my love for hula dancing. I love showing others what I can do and also I try to send a positive message to others through my dancing. One skill I will bring to this position is wanting to meet new people and make new friends. I also will bring my organizing skills and put out events in my community and out them together.

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Angelina SiJohn

Angelina, Coeur D' Alene Tribe, would like to continue being a role model for the youth.

I want to continue representing my tribe and getting out there for my voice and everyone else's who's are silent to be heard. Becoming an ambassador is a good way to connect with other communities and you're given the opportunity to help lead or assist events. I am passionate about being a leader. Nowadays usually kids just follow other kids and don't be their own person. Sometimes it's hard to be a leader and step up, but it's the best thing to do when you're from the rez being around drugs and alcohol most of the time. Being how my parents are, it's not the path I wanted to follow nor take. Plus me being the oldest on both sides, it's not an image that I want my younger siblings to see. I am a role model, leader and I'm motivating the youth to get more involved in positive activities around them and their community.

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Autumn Asher

Autumn, Cheyenne, is passionate about contributing to tribal communities and working toward increasing Native health initiatives.

I recently graduated with my Masters in social work and am beginning a PhD program in the fall. I will be pursuing a doctorate degree in social work and know firsthand the need for indigenous representation in academia. Social work is all about social justice and advocacy, which I believe that being an ambassador is the perfect avenue for advocacy. I have leadership experience, am confident in my ability to be a positive role model and representative, and one of my life goals is to be a voice for tribal communities.I am a proponent for sexual violence prevention and advocacy in order to change the victim blaming culture by focusing on education, bystander intervention, and affirmative consent. As a sexual assault survivor, I have witnessed first-hand the struggle to overcome adversity and the need to educate tribal communities as we are at a greater risk than the general population with 1 in 5 women being sexually assaulted whereas 1 in 3 indigenous women will be sexually assaulted. I also have major passions for mental health and higher education. I have worked the past 5 years within the realm of inpatient psych and have extensive knowledge of the myriad of presentations of mental health disorders. I am also passionate about sharing the value of higher education to others in my community. Most individuals see a bachelor's degree as the end of the road, but I would like to encourage the pursuit of graduate and doctoral degrees. I am a leader and have extensive experience organizing and bringing individuals together. I believe that my leadership skills of organization, time management, and being future oriented will help me contribute greatly as an ambassador.

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Bailee Piper

Bailee, Big Pine Paiute Tribe, wants to offer support to the youth on her reservation as well as different southern California tribes.

I want to get the word out about the WRN Ambassadors and by being involved I hope to encourage younger youth to stay drug and alcohol free and to get involved in their culture and to be proud of who they are and all that they accomplish! The reservation that I grew up on is very small, we have roughly 500 members. It is very common thinking on my rez that drugs and alcohol are a part of growing up and most times it seems a blind eye is turned on youth experimenting, and later becoming habitual users, the youth who have never taken a drink, smoked or experimented are the minority. I feel very strongly about getting to the younger kids, and telling them that they are stronger and anything that alters their thinking, appearance, and relationships they have with their loved ones is not a part of growing up, its something that should be avoided. I come from a drug and alcohol free household, I feel that I am someone that younger youth can look up to and trust because of that reason, I have held the title of Miss Big Pine Paiute Tribe 2012-2013 and many other local Pow Wow Princess titles. I am hardworking, and reliable. I am in my first year of college where I am a student athlete, I play softball and have played since I was 6 years old as a T-baller, through my local recreation league to high school and select club teams. I think being an athlete attributed to my strong work ethic and my desire to stay drug and alcohol free so that I can take my career as far as possible!

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Blake Dashiell

Blake, Nooksack, wanted to be a We R Native Youth Ambassador because he feels that Native youth need to have a voice in our communities, and with the help of We R Native, they can be even more passionate about who they are.

As a youth, I know the struggles of what its like being Native, and I believe I can contribute greatly to our Native youth by representing We R Native as a healthy resource to get the help that they need.I am passionate about sharing my Native culture and the capabilities of Native youth with my community. Native youth are going to be the change that Native people need, and with a connected Native population, Native youth will change the world for the better of our people and others. One skill that will contribute to this position is that I have done public speaking for years and know the importance of speaking to people, and I am good at speaking at large events like Graduations and Auctions.

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Blake Houle

Blake, Yakama, believes that youth need to reconnect with the earth, animals and our environment.

We need to see the importance of it to help our future generations. I'm passionate about learning how we protect our natural resources. I want to be a voice to my classmates and family about caring for our Mother Earth and for people. One thing I can bring to the table is the ability to communicate. I can encourage other youth to become involved and to help knock off peer pressure when it comes to important matters such as our earth, natural resources, drug and alcohol use as well as promote suicide prevention awareness for all ages.

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Brendan Lazore-McDonald

Brendan, St. Regis Mohawk, would like to help his community and to go on to help other communities.

In the future I plan to go to college to start a non profit to help aid native communities with issues such as high suicide rates, drug and alcohol abuse and other pressing issues in our indigenous communities. As an Ambassador I am able to network with Natives from other reservations that may be interested in interacting with my community in the future. I have heard of things another Youth Ambassador has done for the community such as start cultural camps for the youth. I am very passionate about my culture. Growing up I did not have much exposure to my culture until I decided to go through my Rites of Passage which was started to help guide my Nation's youth on good paths. We call the Rites of Passage, Ohero:ken which in Mohawk translates to "Under The Husk". The corn is used as an analogy for the youth and that you have to pull away that husk to get the corn and that we mature as we lose our husks. This ceremony has brought me into contact with many of the role models I have today. I take every chance I get to share the knowledge I have with others and to acquire more knowledge about mine and others cultures. One personal attribute I feel I have is resiliency. I have overcome many obstacles in my life such as learning about my culture and becoming traditional while being raised in a Catholic family. I have also made it to my third year of fasting in my Rites of Passage, in my first year there were fifteen boys, there are now three of us left. I feel I am seen almost as a leader of my year because I am asked to speak on my years behalf and I am asked questions by the two other boys in my year. When I started in my first year I found my own rides to the longhouse for the Sunday meetings where we learn different things about sexual, mental and physical health and things that will help us on our fasts. We are preparing to fast for three nights and if we achieve this we will go on to fast for four nights next year.