At Native Hope we believe that partnerships are key. Collaborating and coming together to empower Native American youth is the way for the culture to thrive.
Fatherhood is a blessing that comes with a great amount of responsibility and dedication. A father is entrusted with caring for his children, teaching them valuable life lessons, and setting an honorable and loving example for them to follow. It is a privilege not to be taken for granted.
We are excited to introduce our Leaders' Society, a group of young Native Americans who are inspired to have unique conversations and make an impact in their world. Monthly meetings and events help to empower this group to have a voice and to consider ways they can take positive action and become strong leaders for their tribes. One of our members, 17-year-old Carl, expresses his desire to be a catalyst for change when he says, “I want to actually make a difference in my community.” Our vision is for our youth to become leaders, taking charge of their environment and their future because of the skills they gained from being active members of this exciting program.
One of a father’s most important jobs is providing for his children. He works hard to support them, teach them, and protect them. Unfortunately, there are many children today who are struggling to survive without their basic needs being met. They are growing up in homes where addictions, abuse, and violence keep them from being able to thrive and succeed.
Lately, much is being said about bias in the news. Bias is everywhere—even in the history books. Sadly, American history books leave out many of the facts about Native Americans and the atrocities of the colonization process. Native Hope Ambassador Kansas Middletent recently spoke to a group of public school students, and here is a little of the conversation that happened in the classroom.
"Children are wakȟáŋheža, 'sacred beings.' You are all sacred beings with special gifts. You all need to know this, and always remember this. There are no excuses when it comes to using drugs and alcohol…it’s a choice,” Kansas Middletent, Native Hope Ambassador, explained to the youth at St. Joseph’s Indian School.
May is Mental Health Awareness Month, a time for all of us to join together in an effort to eliminate the stigma that is often attached to this serious issue. It is estimated that approximately 1 in 5 adults in the U.S.—43.8 million or 18.5%—experiences mental illness in a given year. Native Americans, however, are 1.5 times more likely to experience serious psychological distress than any other ethnicity within the general population.
Kul Wicasa Oyate Tiwahe Aŋpetu
"Community”and "unity” are important words in the Native culture. They are derived from the Lakota phrase Mitakuye Oyasin, which means we are all related, and without community and unity we could not survive.
Dances have always been an important part of life for American Indians. The celebration of dance through the vibrancy of the powwow brings people together and creates a deeper fellowship through tradition and symbolism. The powwow season is now in full swing in South Dakota, and with the many dances happening around the state, the true heartbeat of the culture can be seen through the beautiful regalia and felt in the beat of the drum circles.
One of a mother’s greatest gifts to her children is the ability to nurture and care for them in a safe and loving environment. Unfortunately, there are mothers today fighting to provide these everyday, "basic” needs that most of us take for granted. There are mothers who are searching for a way out of domestic abuse and seeking a brighter future for their families—a future filled with hope and not fear.