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.
In June, the Nulato Tribal Council (NTC), Nulato Life Project (NLP), State of Alaska and Tanana Chiefs Conference (TCC) held a boating safety class in Nulato. This was a two day class and covered risky and safe behavior while on or near the water. William Agnes, James Patsy II, Marvin Cimeon Mountain IV and Elizabeth Stanley each presented a subject to the community and gave out free life jackets.
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.