2020 #GenI Grantees Organizational and Project Descriptions

2020 #GenI Grantees Organizational and Project Descriptions

California Native Vote ProjectLos Angeles, CA

California Native Vote Project seeks to engage Native American voters in California in order to improve the quality of life for Native American communities and protect the continuity of Native American cultures. We will launch a spring 2020 cohort of a Native youth leadership program that supports Native youth in becoming more active in issue-based advocacy campaigns and builds a peer network across California. The program centers on a train-the-trainer model that encourages Native youth to engage on local, youth-identified campaigns as they develop their leadership through advocacy actions and in peer learning spaces.

Coalition to Stop Violence Against Native Women – Centering Gender Justice, Wellness, and Resiliency for Native Youth Organizing Albuquerque, NM

Our mission is to stop violence against Native women and children by advocating for social change in our communities. In 2020, our goal is to continue building a social change movement grounded in gender justice to strengthen our capacity of engaging with Indigenous young people within urban spaces and Native communities within our service area by supporting the following: 1) Native Youth Project Coordinator 2) 9th Annual Native Youth Summit 3) Annual Young Indigenous GenderQueer Retreat  4) Implementing workshops that focus on having critical conversations with Native boys and men to encourage dialogue and actions to support the movement to end violence against Native womyn and children.

Dancing Earth CreationsChamberlain, SD

Our mission – we mentor youth by supporting their dreams, building opportunities, and revitalizing culture to offer hope for their future. We believe in inspiring the next generation to have a voice, take positive action and become strong leaders for their tribes. This powerful on-the-ground work allows many important stories an opportunity to be heard. Dancing Earth Creations mentorship program is a group of Native Hope team members who partner with like minded organizations serving the needs of the most vulnerable in Indian Country. These partnerships help to empower youth on and off reservations. 

Dream of Wild HealthMinneapolis, MN

Dream of Wild Health’s role is to protect the sacred seeds, to grow leadership, and to serve as the initiator of change as it relates to food and food access in all our community work. Decolonizing our relationship to the earth, our food, and our relatives is the primary goal. We do this by engaging youth as the seeds of their own future, and ours. With sacred Indigenous-saved seeds and youth, we are creating Indigenous food systems that heal and grow new leaders, community health, and positive change.

Four Winds Native Youth Summer CampDenver, Colorado

The Four Winds Native Youth Summer Camp is a pilot project that will bring Native urban youth and reservation youth together to build a relationship with each other, with the land, and with cultural traditions. The project consists of a pen pal program and a week-long summer camp that will include outdoor camping at Tallbull Memorial Grounds, will help Native youth explore their identity, and cultivate resilience and cultural integrity through outdoor living. The youth will learn cultural traditions such as outdoor skills, quillwork, indigenous gardening, and native plant identification. The project will rebuild Native identity and encourage the youth to form healthy relationships with their community and with the land to combat historical trauma and loss of native identity.

Friends Forever MentoringRonan, MT

Friends Forever Mentoring’s (FFM) mission is to focus on creating positive change in our local youth, families and community. To coach them in the skills needed to succeed in life, in a happy and healthy path. Our mission is to connect our youth with a mentor to share with them a positive and safe relationship that they can depend on for support and guidance. FFM has a long history of successfully implementing, developing, creating, and facilitating programs that create positive changes in our most at-risk youth, families, and community that will have an impact for a lifetime. The majority of our youth participants have suffered from childhood trauma – a very high risk factor in Indian Country. Recent research indicates the risk factors associated with childhood trauma can be successfully reduced when involved in school-based programs. The two main risk factors with Native youth that have suffered from childhood trauma is being able to develop healthy relationships and trust – the two main positive outcomes of the FFM mentoring program among at-risk youth served.

Literacy Spheres – Healthy Indigenous LifewaysGallup, NM

The Social Justice Fellows that were identified and trained with #GenI Response funding last year were trained in our locally developed curriculum. This curriculum taught them about the decades-long abuses of our environment by the uranium mining industry with little to no accountability. Social Justice Fellows across 4 major communities in the Navajo Nation will educate, inform, engage and motivate individuals and organizations into action addressing environmental threats and associated public health harms facing their communities. This expanded cadre will support community empowerment and utilization of tools that will impact equitable policy change around environmental health.

International Traditional Games SocietyGreat Falls, MT

We are dedicated to the recovery, restoration and re-introduction of Native American Indian Games. We believe our efforts to revive and reenact traditional games give power to the life-affirming expression of “What Holds Us Together,” as we honor the unique cultural expressions of different tribes, including language, movement, and skills for shared survival. Through workshops, special events and instructor certification, we stand committed to the preservation of this core element of the first people’s culture and traditions.

Lummi CDFI Youth Empowerment Bellingham, WA

Over the past year, Lummi Community Development Financial Institution (CDFI) has been working with a small group of young Native entrepreneurs who are working within the Native owned Lummi Seafood Market. This group has shown interest in developing skills to improve their decision-making, food handling, value-added opportunities, outreach and budgeting/cash flow. They have shown passion for growing the seafood market not only for financial prosperity but for continuing Native food sovereignty, and offering greater access to healthy food options, especially traditional protein sources. Lummi CDFI will provide one-on-one and small group technical assistance for Lummi and Regional Youth Entrepreneurs and those who are creating opportunity for this population. 

Menīkānaehkem, Inc.Gresham, WI

Menīkānaehkem is a grassroots organization working to revitalize our First Nations communities based on the Menominee Reservation in Northeast Wisconsin. Our purpose is to promote indigenous wellness and education through strengthening our connection to the original language, land, and ancestral lineage. We model healthy relationships with ourselves, families, and community, creating hope, meaning, belonging, and purpose.

Native Public Media – First Amendment Protectors ProgramFlagstaff, AZ

Founded in 2004, Native Public Media (NPM) provides services that encourage the expansion and strengthening of Native media through platforms that are community-based, local, and democratic.  NPM is grateful for previous funding from the #GenIndigenous Response Fund, which has helped to build the First Amendment Protectors Program. This program is an effort to engage Tribal youth journalists and activists by sharing the knowledge and resources necessary to effectively address issues critical to the sovereignty and sustainability of Indian Country through the exercise of First Amendment rights. Program curriculum has been developed with the intention of serving as a direct response to threats against Tribal sovereignty, including the encroaching impact of climate crisis and suppression of free speech in Native communities.

Outlast Film Camp 2020Los Angeles, CA

Outlast is a volunteer-based initiative led by film, media and theater professionals that partner with Indigenous and Black youth (ages 7 to 18) to increase their access to film and media education. The organization serves students who often do not have the opportunity to engage in the creation of art and cinema, and as a result, are not given the opportunity to create self-reflecting narratives. The goal of Outlast Film Camp is to give students the necessary tools to depict stories that share their world view. Every activity is centered on fostering the creativity and confidence needed to produce films that empower students to craft their own narratives. Endeavoring to increase positive representations of Indigenous and Black peoples in film and media, Outlast Film Camp offers project based media workshops and provides the space and foundational knowledge to equip students with the necessary skills to produce projects, from pre-production through post-production. In addition to its core mentors, Outlast Film Camp invites prominent and up and coming Indigenous and Black media professionals to host workshops and collaborate with Outlast students. 

Red Eagle Soaring Indigenous Service Theater Project (RESIST) – Seattle, Washington

Red Eagle Soaring (RES) is committed to building further connections for Native youth, connecting them with who they are, inspiring them to rise above life’s challenges and to challenge themselves to become all they can be. Ultimately through participation in RES, under-served Native youth in our surrounding communities are offered opportunities to be engaged to a much greater degree – socially, emotionally, spiritually, mentally, and physically – through the performing arts. Youth will engage with a newly formed council – ‘Kiis Council’ through another organization that focuses on youth involvement with policymaking that affects our communities, and builds greater advocacy to help with social justice, community healing, accountability, education and dissemination of traditional knowledge. RES will continue its Red Eagle Soaring Indigenous Service Theater (RESIST) project. The model’s work continues to reveal how the world is currently experienced for urban Native youth we serve, and empowers them to use theater in the service of social change. RES students will continue to explore ideas and tackle topics of interest or concern as expressed by them, integrating those concerns into their performing arts work, and connecting with ‘Kiis Council’ to keep a pulse on issues affecting the community.

Restoring Justice for Indigenous Peoples – lhacamˑúˑyumá simasak — We Choose To Heal  – Sacramento, CA

Restoring Justice for Indigenous Peoples was founded to counter the systemic violence affecting Youth in California Native tribal and inter tribal communities. Restoring Justice for Indigenous Peoples works to support this healing through community organizing, investigation, advocacy, ceremony and action. Through a lens of decolonization, end mass criminalization, and state violence and heal our community in order to achieve Indigenous justice We can achieve this vision through deploying three primary drivers of change: 1. Promote socially conscious youth leadership, and hope within our Indigenous communities & across tribal populations. 2. Increase Indigenous communities and tribal populations capacity to make real change.

Sacred Pipe Resource Center –  Iyekiyapo (Be recognized) ProjectMandan, ND

Sacred Pipe Resource Center (SPRC) is committed to the mission of maintaining a home-away-from-home for off-reservation American Indians living in the area. We realize the need for an organization to assist Native people and families who are living away from their homelands, while respecting the sovereign nature of their individual Tribal citizenship. The Iyekiyapo (Be recognized) project seeks to address long-standing disparities in the juvenile justice system for Native youth by building upon previous healing-centered engagement projects to create knowledge and build capacity among Native youth for civic engagement in the context of the decennial Census and Native Vote.

Standing Rock Community SchoolFort Yates, ND

Standing Rock Community Schools are committed to academic proficiency and success for all of our students. One program which helps us achieve this is Close Up. Close Up is the nation’s leading non-profit, non-partisan civic education organization. Their mission is to inform, inspire, and empower young people to exercise the rights and accept the responsibilities of citizens in a democracy. They fulfill their mission through week-long, experiential education programs in and around Washington, DC. Students learn the basic tenets of how America’s government works, the importance of being actively engaged in our democracy, and receive the tools and knowledge to make sustained change in their communities.

Thunder Valley Community Development Corporation Porcupine, SD

Thunder Valley Community Development Corporation (CDC) envisions a liberated Lakota nation through Lakota language, culture and spirituality. We have developed a comprehensive, innovative, and grassroots approach to collaborating with and empowering Lakota youth and families to improve the health, culture, and environment of our communities, through the healing and strengthening of cultural identity. Thunder Valley CDC have always understood that youth hold the power of sustaining our community’s wellbeing.