Youth leadership represent in Washington

The Sunshine Cloud Smith Youth Advisory Council take a picture in front of the Drumheller Fountain located at the University of Washington, located in Seattle, Wash. The youth council toured the University of Washington as a part of their trip on June 24.
Christina Herrera touches a live sea urchin at the Pacific Science Center in Seattle, Wash. on June 24.
The Sunshine Cloud Smith Youth Advisory Council pose with Rachel the Pig located at Pikes Place Market on June 25.
Christina Herrera places her gum on Market Theatre Gum Wall located in Seattle, Wash. The gum wall began in 1993 and has several thousand pieces of gum located on the wall.
Allisianna Baker and Christina Herrera have a jam session at the EMP Museum on June 25.
Lakota TwoCrow speaks in front of tribal leaders voicing his concerns about tribal youth and his community at the NCAI Conference on Monday, June 27.
Allisianna Baker, Christina Herrera, Lakota TwoCrow are ready to head out on the lake to paddle board with fellow youth council and youth from the Kalispel Tribe on June 28.
Christina Herrera and Issac Suina head out on the paddleboard on June 28 out on Fish Lake located just outside Spokane, Wash.
The Sunshine Cloud Smith Youth Advisory Council enjoyed a day hanging out with Kalispel tribal youth on June 28. Tribal Councilmembers, Tyson Thompson and Amy J. Barry, also joined the Youth Council.
The Emerging Leaders Youth Conference was the youth portion of NCAI. Ute Mountain Ute Tribal Councilwoman, Regina Whiteskunk-Lopez speaks to the youth giving them sound advice and encouraging words in order to move on in their leadership roles in their native communities on Wednesday, June 29.
Secretary of Interior Sally Jewell (left) speaks to the youth at NCAI’s Emerging Leaders Conference on Wednesday, June 29. Jewell took questions and gave her view on land, water and education in native communities.
Lexy Young, Lakota TwoCrow and Allisianna Baker all participated in the #CultureMatters initiative as a part of the Emerging Leaders Conference on June 29.
Youth proudly show off why culture matters to them as a part of the #CultureMatters initiative on June 29.
Elijah Weaver participates in “ice breaker” activities with fellow youth during an Emerging Leaders session with Jeri Brunoe on June 29.
The Sunshine Cloud Smith Youth Advisory Council takes a tour of Gonzaga University on Thursday, June 30 their tour guide was a junior student who is currently attending the university.
Larenz Wilbourn plays with the giant guitar at the Pacific Science Center on June 25.
Lakota TwoCrow, Larenz Wilbourn and Lexy Young play a puzzle game at the Pacific Science Center on June 25.
Trennie Collins | The Southern Ute Drum
Trennie Collins | The Southern Ute Drum
Trennie Collins | The Southern Ute Drum
Trennie Collins | The Southern Ute Drum
Trennie Collins | The Southern Ute Drum
Trennie Collins | The Southern Ute Drum
Trennie Collins | The Southern Ute Drum
Trennie Collins | The Southern Ute Drum
Trennie Collins | The Southern Ute Drum
Trennie Collins | The Southern Ute Drum
Trennie Collins | The Southern Ute Drum
Trennie Collins | The Southern Ute Drum
Trennie Collins | The Southern Ute Drum
Trennie Collins | The Southern Ute Drum
Trennie Collins | The Southern Ute Drum
Trennie Collins | The Southern Ute Drum
Trennie Collins | The Southern Ute Drum
Trennie Collins | The Southern Ute Drum

 

The Sunshine Cloud Smith Youth Advisory Council (SCSYAC) took to the skies and traveled to Washington June 23-July 1. The Youth Council’s first stop was to Seattle, Wash. The youth got to experience the vast culture of the Northwest by taking in the smell of fresh fish at Pike’s Place Market to being high in the sky beaming from the top of the Seattle Space Needle, all excited to be in a new unfamiliar place.

Rejuvenated and ready to learn, the Youth Council headed west to join hundreds of tribal leaders and representatives at the National Congress of American Indians (NCAI) Mid-year Conference held at the Spokane Convention Center in Spokane, Wash.

Youth attended the Emerging Leaders section of the conference, which focused on the youth and taking on future leadership roles within their tribal communities. Jeri Brunoe, Native American actress and owner of Brunoe Training and Consulting, facilitated the forum.

Brunoe had the youth do “ice breaker” activities, team building, and also had numerous keynote speakers talk to the youth about leadership and being in a leadership role including NCAI President, Brian Cladoosby – Chairman of the Swinomish Indian Tribal Community in Washington.

The youth council also attended the Summary for Tribal Consultation where the main subject was passage of the Every Student Succeeds Act (ESSA). Tribal leaders gathered around microphones to bring up their concerns regarding the, No Student Left Behind Law, the suicide rate in Indian Country and education in Bureau of Indian Education (BIE) schools.

Lakota TwoCrow, Chairman of the Sunshine Cloud Smith Youth Advisory Council raised many of his concerns during the ESSA leadership part of the summary.

“One of my main concerns on tribal reservations is, why kids are killing themselves because they feel they have too. There are not federal funds given to tribes unless we reach a certain percentage,” TwoCrow said.

After speaking many tribal leaders praised him for standing up for the youth and being a voice and advocate for future generations.

The Youth Council and peers were also privileged to speak with US Secretary of Interior, Sally Jewell. Jewell had an open group discussion which included around 30 native youth – nine of them being the SCSYAC and Southern Ute reps. Jewell listened to concerns from the youth and answered questions and opened up to the youth by explaining her perspective on major issues she sees affecting native communities such as: the Indian Child welfare Act (ICWA), reservations, land, water and education.

The youth council also got to voice their perspective on their culture. Engaging in the #CultureMatters initiative, the youth council got to tell other youth and social media why culture matters to them.

“Culture is a part of my life and community,” Allisianna Baker, secretary for the SCSYAC, said.

It wasn’t all business, the Youth Council got invited by the youth of the Kalispel Tribe to go out and have some fun on the lake. The youth enjoyed paddling boarding, kayaking, biking but most importantly making new friends.

During their trip the youth also got to visit and tour three colleges: University of Washington, Central Washington University and Gonzaga University.

“It is a great experience to show the kids other colleges outside from Colorado. I want to show them various types of colleges,” Mary Guenther, Sunshine Cloud Smith Youth Advisory Council Coordinator said. “College exploration is important because we can help them expand their horizons in planning and achieving their academic goals”

Next on the Youth Council’s agenda will be the Jimmy Newton Youth Leadership Conference on Wednesday, July 20 from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. at the Ignacio High School. This year’s conference theme is “Honoring the Past for our Future.” All Native American students ages 11-18, in the Ignacio, Bayfield, Durango, Cortez and Towaoc are invited to attend.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Like it? Share it!

Facebooktwitterredditpinterestlinkedinmail