For Native Youth, by Native Youth.
Happy Native American Heritage Month!
Proud to be an Indigenous Person
Growing up in a small town was not a bad life for me. However, growing up in a small school with people outside my culture/race was hard. I remember being picked on for my skin, long hair, and for the way I did things. Years of this lead to depression and it lead to multiple acts of self harm. I pushed myself away from what I knew and what I loved in the hopes of being accepted. I thought it would help make me happy but it just made me sad. Years of self torment went by and my spirit grew weak. My friends and family did not know what I did, but they soon found out. I tried to quit, but it was like an addiction. In 2011, a great opportunity happened. I was asked to represent the All Nations Powwow Committee as their princess. This began a new life for me and brought me back to the circle and to the life I love. My culture saved me and I thank Aba’binili’ (Creator) for it everyday. This year will be 6 years since I went back to my roots and it will be 2 1/2 years since my last self harm incident. Times may get tough and get you low, but the remedy I recommend is to follow your ancestors and their ways. These ways heal the spirit and it will brighten your path. Thank you for listening to my story, and I hope you fill your life with happiness.
-Faithlyn Seawright (Chickasaw), age 18, is from the Chickasaw Nation in Oklahoma and is passionate about culture revitalization and native pride.
2017-2018 WRN AMBASSADORS
The 2018-19 class of WRN Ambassadors are a group of Native youth who are helping to spread positive vibes and create positive change in their communities. We R Native Ambassadors are the heart and soul of We R Native. The Ambassador program is a way for you to join the We R Native development team, get involved in your community, and make a positive difference around the topics that matter most to you. As an Ambassador, you’ll help spread positive vibes and create positive change in your communities. How? By promoting positive health behaviors, hosting outreach and awareness events in your community, and representing We R Native at youth conferences.
Even something that starts small can make a big impact. Together We Can Change Our World!
Ombi’ inspire somebody lacrosse
In September, Ma’iingaans Loonsfoot (Keweenaw Bay Ojibwe), age 23, created a lacrosse program to bring back our traditional game of lacrosse and provide youth with a healthy alternative to drugs and alcohol. Anyone that wanted to learn about the tradition and modern games of lacrosse along with the history of the game and traditional teachings, like respect, that go into playing lacrosse, could. The project is still ongoing and I work with many school groups at least once a month. I also work with the men’s and women’s collegiate lacrosse teams in my area to teach them how to be good mentors and role models for the tribal youth in the area. I also am really excited about this project because, I am able to be a leader/role mode and mentor of lots of tribal youth. So because I never had any good role models growing up, I wanted to do something that allowed me to help mentor other kids who don’t have good role models. I’m always there for them to lean on. If you are interested in carrying out a similar project, I suggest sticking with it; It can be hard to start a new project, but if you stick with it you can accomplish anything! Also, have fun! When you are engaged with the people you work with then you can have a greater impact. Even if you don’t think your project/program was a success, it was. Even if only one person showed up you probably made an impact in their life whether you know it or not. I always say that the people who show up are the ones that are meant to be there.