The NativeLove team was invited by the Northern Pauite for three exciting days of learning, teaching, sharing and powwow and community outreach for Domestic Violence Awareness month.
What we shared: NativeLove is intended to raise awareness and help end violence among Native youth by encouraging and empowering them to redefine NativeLove and what it means to them. Those of us in Native communities often hear jokes about “Indian Loving” as waking up with a hickey and a black eye- that’s not love, it’s dating violence. This project gives us the opportunity to think about what NativeLove really is, so we can create change in our thinking and restore our traditional ways of loving, which are characterized by respect honor, kindness and compassion.
While there, the NativeLove team had age appropriate presentations with youth ages K-12 and interactive roundtable with staff from Tu-Wa-Kii Nobi (The Kid’s House) program. We also held an Advocates Training with local child and domestic violence advocates and elementary school staff. For community enrichment, we had a NativeLove information booth with interactive activities, spoke at the powwow about domestic violence awareness month, celebrated the crowning of the Northern Pauite Tribal Queen, and also held a youth only dance special on the second day of the powwow.
What we learned: It is their time in history, the validation of youth experiences, the calls to action from youth voices that create opportunities for the next generation to end violence and crisis in our communities. What are youth needs? We heard action plans on ending bullying, ending teen dating violence, and overall community support are what is important to them. If we can focus on supporting youth to build bridges across populations and within their own student body we all can guide their peer-to-peer action through activism, storytelling and mentoring.
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