New Mexico Native Youth Address Domestic Violence Issues, to Learn Empowerment at Annual Summit

Native youth at last year’s summit. Photos courtesy of Coalition to Stop Violence Against Native Women

Published June 25, 2017 

ALBUQUERQUE – Continuing to help Native American youth address domestic violence and build healthy relationships, a regional coalition will host a leadership conference to help build community support systems and develop future tribal leaders. They will strategize solutions to issues they are facing in their communities and return home with a support system of their peers equipped to become the future tribal leaders of New Mexico.

The Coalition to Stop Violence Against Native Women (CSVANW) will host its 6th Annual Native Youth Summit June 25-28 at The Lodge in Santa Fe, N.M. The theme for this year is “We Are The Movement,” which the Coalition sees as an extension of the youth-led community mobilization and engagement forging change throughout the country today.

The summit provides interactive opportunities and physical challenges through a rigorous ropes course to help youth learn the skills they need to address issues they are facing. Workshops this year will focus on leadership development, healthy relationships and healthy communication, domestic violence in the home, cyber bullying, and safety in the technological world.

“Previous attendees surveyed have reported they were more confident in their decision making and ability to lead after attending the summit,” said Keioshiah Peter, CSVANW Native Youth Coordinator.

“We Are The Movement” is a continuation of the nearly 700 youth served directly through the Coalition’s violence prevention initiatives. About 40 young people ages 12 to 18 representing 15 Pueblos, nations and tribes will attend.

“Our Native youth are leaders-brilliant, creative and innovative. They are mobilizing their communities to think differently about violence prevention and intervention. At CSVANW, we know that our youth are being impacted by violence in the different sectors of their lives, yet they are resiliently pushing back and leading this movement to break the cycle of violence by starting with themselves,” CSVANW Executive Director Deleana OtherBull stated.

OtherBull said past summit participants have created tribal youth councils across the region, presented to and advised their tribal leadership, and leveraged social media to reach out and build a network of support with their peers. “Our Native youth (or young people) are taking this movement to the next level,” she said.

Summit participants receive an all-expenses-paid scholarship of nearly $1,500 made possible from generous contributions, foundation grants and sponsorships. Funders and sponsors include the Department of Justice Office on Violence Against Women, New Mexico Indian Affairs Department, Verizon Wireless HopeLine, AMERIND Risk, Native Americans in Philanthropy GenIndigenous Response Fund at the Minneapolis Foundation, the Pueblo of Pojoaque Continuous Pathways Foundation, and the New Mexico Coalition of Sexual Assault Programming (NMCSAP), Tewa Women United, Planned Parenthood, Laguna Development Corporation, Notah Begay III Foundation, and the Santa Fe Mountain Center.

OtherBull and her team have increased overall general contributions for the summit by 640 percent over last year.  The funding will be used increase Native youth violence prevention initiatives.

For more information on the Native Youth Summit, please go towww.csvanw.org.

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