Native Youth Leadership Alliance

(Josephine Buck) Creating and Innovating Youth Programs on the Yakama Nation

429905_556092474429893_309031441_nThese past few months have been very intense!  I am so passionate to work with our Native youth, they have so much talent and just need the right environments and encouragement to share their voices and gifts fully.  Our communities need to see youth as the most important resources for our future, and with my leadership I hope to show how the right support and programs can unlock this potential and provide a big missing link to heal our communities so we can grow forward.

I am growing in my leadership as the Youth Programs Coordinator for my tribe the Yakama Nation, and have been on various projects.  I hope to provide leadership to connect all of these programs and initiatives together so we can work better as a team for our youth.




Here are some updates to share:

Toppenish Indian Club, Toppenish High School


I’ve been a co-advisor for the Toppenish Indian Club for Toppenish High School with our NYLA Elder Advisory Council member Patsy Whitefoot for over three years, and they recently went on a trip inApril to the University of Washington for a Tribal Leadership Summit and campus tour; which the purpose was to encourage higher education. We had an awesome time there. The kids are also planning a youth suicide prevention training as they did a year ago and hopefully will facilitate their own and present to the public.


Indian Club, White Swan High School


I also work with the Indian Club at White Swan High School with the advisor Ted Williams. We’re having a tough time getting Native youth to be interested and I’m glad to support getting more youth involved. Their goal is to have an ‘end of the year’ trip and possibly host a powwow on school campus in future years.


Native Aspirations,

Prevention Activities


I help connect the advisory with youth to get involved in prevention activities around this area. She’s funded through a grant and thrives to stop Bullying, Violence and Suicide and I’m very supportive in her work mainly with providing her with youth.

Yakama Nation Youth Council


We currently have about 30 consistent members and are working on community service. The kids’ were a big help to a project I coordinated last week to play games and have a fun night for kids 9 and under, an

d we will be having this monthly.   I’m so excited for this,being that this age group is so overlooked in our community.

Junior Animator, Juvenile Justice Workshop


I was contacted a few weeks ago from a woman that facilitates them now and would like to put me through the training and let me help and possibly take over on my own. I have yet to find out what the project is about, but my understanding is that it’s a project for youth in the juvenile system looking to better their lives through spiritual activities which I am great at facilitating.

Music Mentor Academy548981_534504209922053_748597751_n


I’ve also recently finished the Music Mentor Academy over spring break in my second year of coordinating it and it again, was a great success.  Here is a link to our mastered songs.




Youth Speak Out, Youth-led Radio and Media on the Yakama Nation


531721_524589924246815_1105336351_nThe “Youth Speak Out” project is running ok, but finding youth after school hours is getting tough. I did add another media service which is the newspaper and I’m very appreciative of the reporters support for the work that I do, so he’s on board with various projects of mine.

Women’s Sacred Journey Group (Healing for Yakama Women Affected by Trauma)


I missed our meeting last week cause I was at Sesame Street Live with my kids 🙂 but our committee steps were to rename the Cognitive Processing Therapy to something more relative to us as Yakama people and to think of new logos.

On the side, I’m in and out of meeting for our Reservation Community Coalition with Patsy, I attend language classes every week with my daughter, I was on the advisory committee for our Washington State youth spring forum, which is an annual meeting of Washington State youth that are involved in various community service projects and bring them to a central area; some are rewarded for their services.

Within our Borders, Yakama Nation Radio Show


I’m on break from a radio show I’ve been asked to work for on our radio station with which is called “Within Our Borders.”  You can like our facebook page here.  The three of us discuss current topics affecting our reservation. The DJ Ryan Craig said it’s like ‘Native America Calling’ except it’s for our reservation only, and I have so much fun being a part of that team as the female voice.

Camp Chapparral, Yakama Nation Summer Camp


This summer I’ll be presenting at Camp Chaparral by the Director to have my own class possibly two days a week to facilitate teambuilding, leadership, and spiritual lessons through “play” for the kids that attend camp.