As we approach a New Year, each of us has hopes for making a real impact. We understand that our role is to #educate others about the issues facing Indian country, to teach others to #empathize with a culture that needs revitalization, and to #empower young Native Americans to work toward their own definition of success.
This year we ask you, our friends, to think about how to be a part of this awakening—how to contribute to a growing list of issues. We’ve reflected on some of our hopes for the coming year, and we encourage you to consider what your personal hopes are for America’s Indigenous. Together, we are stronger, and we can achieve success.Sounds simple, right? Of course, we all know that creating a movement that ignites people to take action and asks them to reconsider their norms is anything but simple.
“My hope for Native Hope in 2017 is that our voices continue to spread awareness for the issues Native people face, that we continue to bring understanding of the strength and resiliency of Native people and reduce stigma around the world, and that we continue to strive for the solutions no matter how far-reaching they may seem,” shares Jaime, Ambassador.
Kansas, Ambassador and Community Outreach Specialist, hopes that “Native Hope will not only expand throughout Indian country and establish ourselves as an organization on the reservations, but also work hard to bring awareness to the many issues facing young Native Americans, helping them to overcome and to receive the hope they deserve.”
Erica, Intern, offers a simple hope, but perhaps the most poignant: “Aim for more suicide prevention.” Suicide is claiming far too many friends and relatives on local reservations. It is overlooked and must come to the forefront.
“My resolution for next year? I’d like to be filming in 4k resolution [videographer joke]. But seriously, having the responsibility and honor to tell someone’s story forces me to pause and consider another’s view. May my worldview continue to be challenged, humbled, and built upon compassion,” explains Aaron, Videographer.
Breaking stereotypes through effective storytelling, both written and visual, is the ultimate hope for Trisha, Content Specialist. She would like to expose the idea of “cultural bias” and work toward creating an understanding of identity and self-worth for Native youth. “What’s the old saying? ‘To know oneself is to love oneself.’ I believe this is the key to solving so many issues,” Trisha adds.
Julie, Native Hope Director, offers, “My hope for Native Hope in the New Year is to continue making connections and building relationships within Indian country. I want our community, along with the world, to see and understand we are all in this together and that we need to stand together to help improve the lives of others. We cannot have young Native Americans taking their lives because they think that is the only option. They should be dreaming of the future and all that lies ahead. I also want to continue to grow and support the programs that are making the biggest impact with the Native American youth. And finally, I want our supporters and donors to feel connected to Native Hope and see that they are valued and making a difference through supporting Native Hope and believing in our mission.”
Please share your hopes for Native American youth in the comments below.
“What is your hope?”