Many of us are aware of the serious challenges facing Native Americans today. However, do we really understand just how critical the situation is? This is a part of America’s story that is not often told in its entirety, and it quite often remains hidden from view.
America’s untold story of the Native American culture is vast. It begins long before Columbus discovered a “new land.” In fact, it is believed that some 10-15 million Native people inhabited the continent for thousands of years prior to the arrival of the European explorers.
Unfortunately, the history books give a very skewed and incomplete account of this country’s Indigenous people. Our modern day, popular culture has done nothing to change the stereotypes and misconceptions passed on through generations, with Hollywood media often portraying American Indians as wild “savages” who had to be defeated by cowboys or soldiers for the “good of mankind.” The reality, however, severely contradicts this ignorant portrayal.
There is power in unity. We can only accomplish so much on our own, but together we can create a movement that brings tangible change and creates a future of hope. We invite you to join us in breaking down the barriers that have hindered Native American youth from thriving and seizing their dreams.
Throughout history, countless individuals have found the strength to rise up in the storm and add their voice of hope. Hope. It’s such a simple word, yet it holds the key to so much power and redemption. When hope rises up in people’s hearts, it's the spark that ignites the flame; it empowers them to take hold of their future and shine bright to the sometimes dark and hurting world around them.
Native Hope is a non-profit organization based in South Dakota, a state that is home to nine Native American reservations with some of the highest poverty rates in the nation. It is our mission and our hope to empower a young generation of Native Americans by funding programs that provide education, protect at-risk youth, and honor cultural heritage. We also believe in the power of unity and collaboration. We cannot accomplish our goals without people like you joining with us to bring about lasting change.
We are passionate about our work to equip Native American youth with the tools and resources they need to reach their potential and pursue their dreams. We believe in the power of community and in joining together to provide a platform for the voices of this generation’s Native youth to be heard. We invite you to join us on this journey to shatter the silence that has existed for far too long and to see the future of Native American culture and its people thrive!
Reuben Fast Horse, the Lakota magician, understands the world of creating illusions. He believes that magic holds the key to altering perceptions, and he serves as an amazing teacher. Through a combination of magic tricks, music, and the Lakota language, Reuben introduces his audiences to a new way of looking at the world.
His approach to education includes the use of humor and contrary ideas. He tells of the Heyókȟa, the sacred clown of the Lakota who operates as a “contrarian.” When others go forward, the Heyókȟa moves backward; when others are up, he is down; when others are hot, he is cold. He is contrary.
Imagine growing up in an environment where it is only a matter of time before you experience some sort of sexual assault or violence. For most of us, that would seem absolutely unthinkable. Yet for Native American girls growing up on the reservation, this is their reality.
We are on a mission to inspire hope in Native American youth and give them a voice to be heard. There is a generation of Indigenous youth rising up and taking a stand against the negative stereotypes and circumstances that try to define them. They are speaking out against the misconceptions, embracing their cultural heritage and striving to break free from cycles of suicide, substance abuse, and violence that have threatened to rob them of their future.
The winds of South Dakota rustle over a vast and colorful landscape housing an abundant variety of wildlife. With so much land untouched, it has become a hunting mecca, attracting over 100,000 hunters from all over the country each year. October 21, 2017, kicks off South Dakota’s annual pheasant season opener, offering access to nearly 4.5 million acres of public land. It is the largest hunting attraction in the state, so it’s a time of year filled with tradition, community, and sport. Unfortunately, though, in the midst of this state’s hunting heritage, a predator exists, preying on young women and children, stripping them of their innocence and freedom.