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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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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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.
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NEE'NIJI Youth Day

In July, Virlencia Begay (Navajo), age 20, hosted a youth day called Nee'Niji. Activities included health awareness presentations, traditional teachings, physical activities (5k run, basketball, kickball, volleyball), college prep advice and a water balloon fight :) The group applied for and received a We R Native mini grant for $475 to help advertise, provide food and purchase school supplies to give out. They promoted their event by hanging up fliers, word of mouth and shared on social media. The event was a huge success and created a fun and supportive environment for over 200 people!