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On October 9th-11th, NNI will hold the second Project Youth ACT (Agents of Change within Tribes) workshop. Last year, 11 indigenous youth from the greater Tucson area participated in the event designed to support advocacy efforts of indigenous high school students. This year, Pascua Yaqui Tribe (PYT) Guadalupe office will host the 3-day event in a community partnership. NNI will work with the Pascua Yaqui Youth Council to thoughtfully examine how change happens within PYT and how youth can contribute to that process for their community.
Over the course of 17 years of indigenous governance and tribal policy analysis, NNI has repeatedly heard the question, "How can we engage our youth?". NNI created Project Youth ACT as one attempt to provide an answer. During the event, students will each pick an area or issue where they would like to see change. They will participate in daily workshops and skills labs where they will create a capstone media project to address and deliver their message as agents of change.
NNI’s Tribal Outreach Specialist and Senior Researcher Danielle Hiraldo (Lumbee Tribe of North Carolina) who has helped lead the NNI team working with the youth said, "Students are very media savvy and they're creating amazing things just from their phones. We wondered what could they create if we gave them a media resource lab and provided structure for their passion for social justice?"
Students will learn to think critically about change during Project Youth ACT. They will carefully consider who change makers are for their nation, as well as examine when and how actual change takes place. They will think strategically about how to build a media campaign to address their chosen issue and finally, they will put what they have learned into practice. The culmination of this year's Project Youth ACT will be a student presentation of final projects to the Pascua Yaqui Tribal leaders.
Project Youth ACT is funded by the Udall Foundation and Native Americans in Philanthropy . NNI is committed to this initiative and welcomes opportunities to work with new partners to deliver critical nation building programs to our youth.
Images: Project Youth ACT 2017 particpants working in the UA's computer lab (top), Danielle Hiraldo teaching (bottom)