My experience at the NIHB Native Youth Health Summit, was one of the best things I chose to do in my life! I recommend this to anyone who’s interested, even to those who aren’t.
I was able to experience things that not only helped me but helped others. One of those things is telling a story of myself and growing up. It’s a touchy subject, but the more and more I tell it…I feel better about myself. In a way, it’s a healing process. It’s unexplainable the joy it brought me to be able to tell my story and let other tribal leaders hear what I’ve gone through, and what I hope for future kids just like me.
Another great part of the trip was meeting other native youth. It was funny because on our way to the 4-H center we caught a van and in the van were our roommates who we didn’t even know yet. Once we got to the center, the group had already started opening up and doing ice breakers, so we joined in, introduced ourselves and got to talk about what the week would look like. Once that was over with we all went to dinner and ate with our roommates. It was like we were meant to be best friends from the beginning. That’s what we all are now and it didn’t take long for us to becomes friends. The only problem is that they live all the way out in New Mexico. We’re still close to this day, but I’m thankful for meeting them. Not only being close to them, but we got to meet 20 other youth, learning about their culture and hearing about their traditions.
The other fun part was going to the White House, visiting the Senate Committee of Indian Affairs, and the capital. Those are things that I probably won’t ever do again, but was a great experience. Overall it was an amazing trip and I recommend this to everyone!
-We R Native Ambassador Erika Ramirez, Muckleshoot
And be sure to check out the video she made while at the summit…