Making A Difference

Community involvement is something that can start small and make a big impact. Check out a few stories from youth activists about how and why they decided to make a difference. Get inspired! Indian Country, rise up!

Protecting sacred sites? Speaking up about climate change? Fighting for our rights? Making your voice heard? Tell us about it!

Have an idea? Apply for up to $475 to make a difference in your community.

 

 

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5k Color Walk/Run & Health Fair

In October, LIllian Sanchez-Lee, Raylene Sanchez-Lee and Jaden Manjarrez held a 5k run/walk and health fair in Yakama, WA. A total of 19 runners attended the event. As part of the event, the group raised money for the Family, Career, And Community Leaders of America chapter to fund their Easter color run/walk. They also had a guest speaker, Waylon Pee Pahona. The guest received a water, apple, bagel, and a candy bag for Halloween. The top two winners of the run received a We R Native t-Shirt and lanyard. The other guest received a We R Native sticker and keychain. They also had 2 health booths for this event where the group handed out resources for traditional and spiritual healing through native culture and held discussions about developing healthy lifestyles. If you are interested in carrying out a similar project, apply for a community service grant today!
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All Nations Youth Council

In March, students from the Helena Indian Alliance All Nations Youth Council in Montana hosted a Round Dance for their community that focused on issues such as commercial tobacco and diabetes prevention. The event also featured singers, a hand drum contest and a meal with healthy foods. Over 300 youth and elders from throughout community attended the event, and learned and shared from each other.

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American Indian Community House Youth Council

In November, students from the American Indian Community House (AICH) Youth Council in NYC collaborated with the Shinnecock UNITY Youth Council to host an indigenous youth identity workshop that focused on artistic expression and cultural identity. The popular DJ group, A Tribe Called Red, was invited to share how their work confronts the many stereotypes that face Native people.
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Care Kits with the Siletz Tribal Youth Council

Jeidah DeZurney (Confederated Tribes of Siletz Indians), age 20, is making a positive impact in Salem, Oregon. In February, Jeidah created care kits and collected winter clothing, then handed them out in downtown Portland. Jeidah originally planned on 30-40 kits, but was so blessed to receive grants to help over 100 houseless individuals in Portland. The youth had such a great time making these and providing warm words to the houseless when passing the kits out. It was eye opening for everyone, and everyone benefited. The Siletz youth council has had this idea for a couple month now, and putting in the hard work so it could happen has only made Jeidah more motivated for future service projects. "I am so grateful for all the help I received to make this project come to life. Everyone involved had nothing but smiles and love in their hearts. The youth stuck through the rain and handed out every single kit! Our hard work paid off, and the smiles and grateful comments made every second worth it. "If you are interested in carrying out a similar project, Jeidah suggests contacting your local thrift stores for donations! "We had so many clothes donated from thrift stores and got to hand out every single item. Also asking tribal clinics for donations, we had 90 dental kits donated by our dental clinic." For more ideas and to apply for up to $475 today, visit https://www.wernative.org/my-impact/grant-application-form

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Lawrence High Inter-Tribal Club Book Drive

In March, youth from the Lawrence High Inter-Tribal Club held a book drive where they collected books to bring to the Little Nations Academic Center at Haskell University. Not only did they hold a month long book collection, they also purchased books by Native authors, and created a book of their own "N8TIV3 Numbers". The club then brought the books to the Center and spent time reading to the children (ages 1-5). The event was a huge success! The club was able to incorporate Native American values by giving to the children, and they were able to get the entire community involved through their book donations.
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N.E.R.D.S.

In February, Dahkota Brown held a gathering for Native youth from Northern California through a program he started called NERDS, which stands for Native Education Raising Dedicated Students. He brought together 9 different tribes & youth organizations, who brought almost 100 students & 23 booths including colleges, health resources, scholarship opportunities, cultural resources, future career options, and many more.They had various keynote speakers and fun events planned throughout the day. The main event consisted of a scavenger hunt that gave all the booths an equal chance to have students gain information and required the students to work together.