Attending the Affiliated Tribes of Northwest Indians (ATNI) Conference has been a positive experience. Leading the Youth Forum with NYLA fellows Johnny and Josephine gave us an opportunity to work directly with youth and keep them engaged. Giving them a voice and guiding their visions through PSA’s was not only an good experience for them but the ending results was great. Knowing that ATNI includes numerous tribes it is an honor that myself and Johnny Buck decided to Co-Chair the Youth Committee. With support from each of you we will continue support the collective voices of our youth and help to strengthen the bridge between our youth and elders.
Special thanks to our elder Advisory Council Patsy Whitefoot for her guidance, support and leadership to strengthen our relationships with Northwest Tribal communities.
If you are interested to join the ATNI Youth Voice! Youth Activism! Group, please join us on facebook at this link.
Katie Swan, Johnny Buck and Josephine Buck
Affiliated Tribes of Northwest Indians
Youth Committee Report
September 23, 2012
The Youth Committee convened on Sunday, September 23, 2012 in an ATNI Youth Forum as a follow-up to the Spring ATNI Roundtable held at the Siletz Tribe in Lincoln City, OR. The Forum was held from 10:00 am to 3:00 pm and opened and closed with our traditional prayers, songs and teachings.
The Youth Committee and Education Committee collaborated with the Native Youth Leadership Alliance to convene the Youth Forum. Collaborating with Sophia Kizilbash, NYLA Co-Director and NYLA Washington Fellows allowed ATNI to build an alliance with a national Native youth organization which has a goal of building capacity and collaborative leadership among Native Youth. Since federal, state and local elections are under way, Native Vote was featured to highlight tribal and individual efforts being made by tribal leadership. These included: Kevin Killer of the South Dakota State Legislature, Antone Minthorn who is running for State Senate in Oregon and Patricia Whitefoot who ran for a Yakima County position.
The Retreat had 43 participants with youth representatives of the Confederated Tribes of the Umatilla Indian Reservation, Yakama Nation youth representation, Washington State University Native American student organization, Blue Mountain Community College students, and the Native Youth Leadership Alliance. Activities involved team building, visioning, planning, public speaking, intertribal and intergeneration relationship building. An outcome of the Forum was the development of 30 second Public Service Announcements (PSA) by the students. The themes of the PSAs were:
- We Would Love to Have Funding – Support for Youth Programs
- Stay in School – Preventing school Drop-out
- Washington State University COUGS Want You! – Native Student Recruitment
- Tribes Working Together – Treaty Rights for Hunting Licenses
After the Forum a Youth Committee meeting was held with 18 students and advisors who agreed to keep supporting the Youth Committee goals for leadership development. Johnny Buck and Katie Swan were named Youth Committee Co-Chairs. Both Joyce McFarland and Julie Taylor will remain as Vice Co-Chairs. Patricia Whitefoot and Andrea Robideaux will continue to serve as Advisors to the Committee.
This Forum reaffirmed that our youth today are leaders NOW! However, there is a need for tribes and organizations to strategically invest in our Northwest tribal visions and goals. We appreciate ATNI and the support of our Native Youth Leadership initiative.
Johnny Buck and Katie Swan
ATNI Youth Committee Co-Chairs