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SPECIAL EDITION - LOOKING BACK AT 40 YEARS OF COMMUNITY COMING TOGETHER TO SERVE

JULY 2014

CELEBRATING 40 YEARS OF SERVICE 1. Native leaders participating in the 2013-14 LEAD cohort celebrate completion

of another successful class. The LEAD program is a unique indigenous-based leadership development program for emerging Native leaders. To learn more about LEAD and the 2013-14 cohort, visit nayapdx.org/lead

2. NAYA started with parent volunteers, such as Ed Edmo,

Shoshone Bannock, Nez Pierce & Yakama, Carol Edmo, Ron True, Gary Villa and Norman Red Thunder, who wanted to provide culturally-specific activities for youth. More on pg 2.

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3. Tawna Sanchez, Shoshone Bannock & Ute, a NAYA

youth, became our first Case Manager, grew with NAYA, and designed our domestic violence program. Learn more about Tawna and the important work of our Domestic Violence team providing resources for our community on pg 2.

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4. 2014 Head Start was NAYA’s 2nd year at Applegate and

3rd with Oregon Child Development Coalition. Culturallyspecific classes that strengthen our families and build lifelong learning opportunities for our children. Learn more about these partnerships at nayapdx.org/headstart

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5. Mark your calendar and get involved with upcoming

NAYA programming. The Neerchokikoo Powwow, Native Professionals & Friends Nights, and NAYA Gala are featured on our events calendar, plus many more program-specific opportunities at nayapdx.org/events

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6. William Miller, Cherokee & Blackfeet, has participated in NAYA services since

he was 11 years old. He is the youngest of five boys and the first in his family to pursue college. William is a recipient of the prestigious Ford Scholars program and is an elected precinct committeeperson, his first step in an ambitious policy career. Read more stories at nayapdx.org/success

7. Brandee Valdez, Northern Arapaho, has participated as a vital member of Parents Helping

Parents, attending Positive Indian Parenting workshops, and supporting her children’s interest in cultural activities. Learn more about our programs and services at nayapdx.org/services


NATIVE AMERICAN YOUTH & FAMILY CENTER NEWSLETTER

SPECIAL EDITION 2014

THE BIRTH AND GROWTH OF OUR CENTER

AS WE HAVE CHANGED LOCATIONS AND NAMES, WE HAVE SUSTAINED OUR TRADITIONS

In 1974, Portland’s Native American Community began gathering youth at the Urban Indian Center (UIC), to address problems with drugs, street gangs, and high school dropout rates. “We needed to do this for the community,” says Ed Edmo, one of the community Elders that have been with us from the start. Many parents and Elders wanted to offer our young people educational opportunities, so Ed’s wife Carol Edmo taught reading comprehension using Ahkwesáhsne Notes, a Mohawk Nation newspaper. They had a focus on teaching traditional values and passing Community youth down the ancient knowledge that colonization, displacement and termination the original removed. They named the program the Native American Youth Association, or NAYA. designed NAYA logo. The feathers NAYA has operated out of many locations: a basement at Portland State University, on the right contain their names. the Kenton Firehouse, a site on SE 12th and Oak, and on Martin Luther King, Jr. Blvd. In 1994 we became a 501(c)3 non-profit organization, and shortly thereafter we changed our name from “Native American Youth Association” to “Native American Youth and Family Center,” to better reflect our mission. At that time we moved to Mississippi Avenue and began the Early College Academy with a 6-student classroom in the basement. In 2006, we moved to our current location on NE Columbia Blvd: Neerchokikoo, a Chinook fishing village. Today we offer more services to our community including a wide variety of youth services, family services, civic engagement, community development, and Elder services. See nayapdx.org/history for more info.

NAYA IS HOW WE BUILD COMMUNITY

TAWNA SANCHEZ, FROM NAYA YOUTH TO NAYA STAFF TO DIRECTOR OF FAMILY SERVICES

One of our finest examples of the strength within our community comes from Tawna Sanchez, Shoshone-Bannock and Ute, who has dedicated her life to serving and fighting for her community. From participating in national demonstrations that advocate for our indigenous rights to holding mothers as they heal from domestic issues, all her life she has fought for numerous causes throughout Indian Country. When Tawna returned to Portland she became a flower delivery driver to support her son while she was earning a certificate in Alcohol and Drug Abuse Studies. In 1999, as NAYA noticed kids were missing school because of parents fighting at home and being afraid to say anything for fear of getting involved with child welfare system, Tawna was asked to help implement a Domestic Violence program. Years later, she became the Director of Family Services and her team continue to oversee our efforts to keep families together, strengthen parent-child relationships, prevent abuse and guide foster youth on the path to success. Tawna’s leadership continues to inspire, such as new initiatives like STEP 2 Respect, a program that addresses the issues of Domestic Violence, Teen Dating Violence, Sexual Assault, and Stalking within our community. Recently, STEP 2 Respect hosted Portland’s first-ever “Healthy Break Up Summit” with Jessica Danforth from the Native Youth Sexual Health Network, who engaged community members on finding the personal values important to them, their community, and their relationships while being unapologetic for those values. NAYA was founded and continues to be built by people who chose to take action to address community priorities. Tawna sums it up best when she says, “NAYA is how we build community.”

Tawna Sanchez has grown alongside NAYA.

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NATIVE AMERICAN YOUTH & FAMILY CENTER NEWSLETTER

SPECIAL EDITION 2014

A SUCCESSFUL YOUNG NATIVE WOMAN

ALMA FRANCO DESCRIBES HOW NAYA HAS GUIDED HER ON HER JOURNEY

Alma Franco, Colville & Yakama, is an ECA graduate and a rising leader in our community who has been involved in NAYA activities since she was eight years old, when we were still located in our old building on Mississippi Avenue. “My first impression was feeling welcome in a place for Natives, full of Natives just like me.” The culturally-specific atmosphere at NAYA guides our community on the path to success, in good times and in bad. “NAYA has made me a successful young Native American woman. Before I never believed in myself. Now I do.” “NAYA introduced me to the Native community and many lifelong friends, and has helped my family in many ways, whether it was food, clothes, tutoring, or recreation. NAYA has been a big support for both of my Alma is succeeding by grandmas and all their descendants. NAYA helped me find housing when I connecting to her culture. was homeless, gave me the opportunity to graduate when I never thought I would, and helped me get into college. NAYA has given me a place to feel welcome and comfortable where I can turn to if I need assistance or advice, and gave me knowledge of my culture and an outlet to express my culture and dreams and goals.NAYA is a great place for Elders, students, kids and families to get involved in our culture, seek family services, job search, study, dance, eat. Everything. All for the community.”

DEVELOPING OUR SEVENTH GENERATION

NAYA GUIDES COMMUNITY MEMBERS FROM RECEIVING TO GIVING BACK

Many individuals have come to NAYA to receive services and join in cultural activities, only to return later to give back and continue our tradition of coming together in mutual support. As a youth, Cary Watters, Tlingit (Raven Moiety, Dog Salmon Clan), was part of a team who helped form what we now know as Portland Youth and Elders Council (PYEC), a grassroots body that convenes at NAYA and helps our orgnizationto identify and address community priorities. “In 2004 we developed and implemented a community engagement effort,” Cary says, “to identify priorities on poverty reduction. We developed and executed... widespread surveys, Elder interviews and facilitated meetings.” PYEC reflects the volunteer origins of NAYA; our community comes together for positive change. Volunteerism and grassroots advocacy are vital to the historic and future Cary Watters, former NAYA youth, now serves success of the Native American community in Portland. As as our Community Engagement Manager Cary helped build PYEC, she grew as well. “I was a high school student and felt encouraged and excited to pursue this amazing opportunity in public policy, a field that I hadn’t considered much until then.” Like many before her, Cary was shaped by her time at NAYA. “Developing community-based methods for poverty reduction was inspiring. NAYA built confidence within me to serve and build capacity within our community. I have gained a great deal of confidence and grounding in both my cultural identity and as a professional in this community.” Cary went on after participating in Youth Education Services programming to achieve a Master’s in Urban Planning and Regional Development. She puts her education to good use as Community Liason to the Inter-tribal Gathering Gardens initiative, bringing a traditional gathering garden to the Cully Neighborhood where NAYA is located, the first garden of its kind in our region. 3


NATIVE AMERICAN YOUTH & FAMILY CENTER NEWSLETTER

SPECIAL EDITION 2014

# l o v e N AYA

NAYA community rallied on June 11th to help NAYA win ten thousand dollars from the United Way by telling us why they love NAYA. Learn more about the victory and see more stories at nayapdx.org/love

2. We love NAYA bec

good place to com get to enjoy ourse other Elders. - Grandpa Dan Fo

1.

1. When NAYA endorsed the Freedom

to Marry campaign, I felt proud as a Two Spirit person and can’t imagine a happier, safer place. - Court Morse, Anishinaabe Ojibwe, Oregon United for Marriage

5.

5. “NAYA was always successful... when

you actually looked at the outcomes for youth and the impact the services were having on their lives and their family’s lives that was always part of NAYA’s DNA from the very beginning.” - Nicole Maher, Tlingit, President, Northwest Health Foundation

6.

I #LoveNAYA because... it’s the same close family feel as 10 years ago in the tiny building!! They believe in healing the community. They understand that unity is the best way to move forward. We are Native strong and welcoming of ALL cultures. -Roberta Ortiz, Lakota & Shoshone and son Yuki, Lakota, Shoshone & Apache

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9. I love NAYA because they have supported

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me and gave me the tools I needed to succeed in life. NAYA empowered me. -Tillie Nelson, Oglala Lakota, Dakota, Klamath & Modoc, 2014 ECA Graduate

9.


NATIVE AMERICAN YOUTH & FAMILY CENTER NEWSLETTER

cause it’s a me and visit. We elves with the

SPECIAL EDITION 2014

3. We love NAYA because they sponsor the

3.

oster, Paiute

Canoe Journey Family... and take care of the Elders. - Frank Alby, Inupiat, & Rosa Alby, Haida

4. The primary focus of our work

4.

has always been a youth-centered, family-driven, and Elder-guided vision of equity for our people. From humble beginnings, we have grown exponentially. Time and time again, we identify a need and then come together to offer communityled solutions. -Matt Morton, Squaxin Island, Executive Director NAYA Family Center

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7.

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10.

I #LoveNAYA because I have been through a lot in my life; moving through foster homes and going through changes, NAYA has always been there for me from cultural art classes, to providing a safe environment for family visits, to even helping me pick out a dress for prom this year. NAYA even helped me host my first art exhibit! I love NAYA. -Alecia McConnell, Umatilla, NAYA Foster youth

8. I love NAYA because they heal

our communities through services that nurture our mental, spiritual, emotional, and physical growth. -Tessa Sayers, Turtle Mountain Chippewa

10. I love NAYA because it’s really honestly been my

second home and I really don’t know what kind of person I’d be without NAYA. -Josette Red Thunder, Ft. Peck Lakota, NAYA youth 5


NATIVE AMERICAN YOUTH & FAMILY CENTER NEWSLETTER

SPECIAL EDITION 2014

EARLY COLLEGE ACADEMY GRADUATION

THIRTEEN STUDENTS LEAVE THE EARLY COLLEGE ACADEMY WITH DIPLOMAS AND NATIVE PRIDE

The Early College Academy has grown rapidly since its first days on Mississippi, and now delivers an alternative, Native-inspired education to 100 students. 90% of ECA attendees will obtain their diploma, twice the rate of Native youth in Portland Public Schools. In 2004, Rey España, Yaqui, became NAYA’s Education Manager. Rey understood the large need in educating our youth through a model that was culturally relevant to them. It was then that he began to develop NAYA’s Early College Academy. Rey obtained funds to turn the basement of then Mississippi offices into a classroom. Rey spent part of his time as the acting Principal. The Early College Academy is now in its seventh year. The ECA Class of 2014 graduated thirteen students. “I went to four different high schools before finding my comfort zone at NAYA. The reason why I believe NAYA was right for me is because I feel they actually care about us as family rather than just students,” wrote Elizabeth Brittanyann DeLaRosa, Warm Springs/Wasco/Paiute, in the 2014 ECA commencement program. “I will forever be grateful for all the opportunities, support and love NAYA has given me. If it wasn’t for this place, I wouldn’t be walking across this stage tonight receiving my diploma and attending college this fall,” wrote Juanita Marina Patrice Tapio-Brewer, Oglala Lakota, African-American & Mexican-American. The ECA Graduating Class of 2014 with NAYA Elders, Board Members and ECA Staff.

EDUCATION THROUGH A CULTURAL LENS

COMMUNITY DINES WITH EARLY COLLEGE ACADEMY STUDENTS Each April, NAYA hosts an annual Early College Academy Luncheon to raise money for the ECA. This year’s event featured student speaker Jenni Pedro-Miguel (right), Guatemalan Indigenous, who spoke of her educational journey and becoming the first person in her family to graduate from high school. Jenni has earned scholarships from the PCC Foundation, PCC Future Connect, Comcast Leaders and Achievers, and the Oregon Opportunity Grant from the Oregon Student Association. We are proud to see how far Jenni has come. Thank you to community members who attended and donated to support the ECA, including major donors Legacy Health and PDC. 6

See Jenni’s story at nayapdx.org/jenni


NATIVE AMERICAN YOUTH & FAMILY CENTER NEWSLETTER

SPECIAL EDITION 2014

STATE GIVES GENERATIONS A BOOST

TAX CREDITS ALL BUT ASSURE THAT INNOVATIVE HOUSING PROJECT WILL BREAK GROUND SOON The Generations project is NAYA’s next and most ambitious housing development: an intergenerational community that brings together Elders, adoptive parents and youth touched by the child welfare system in mutual support. The Oregon Housing and Community Services (OHCS) department has reserved Low-Income Housing Tax Credits (LIHTC) to build Generations. This will be the largest and most significant contribution to date. OHCS joins a long list of partners already supporting the project including the Governor, City, Oregon Solutions, Portland Artist’s rendering of Generations courtesy Public Schools, Social Venture Partners, Legacy Health, Carleton Hart Architecture. Learn more at Bridge Meadows, Guardian Real Estate Services, Carleton Hart nayapdx.org/generations Architecture, LMC Construction and many more. The history of displacement and broken cultural ties in the Native community continues today, as one in five children in Multnomah County’s child welfare system is Native American. “Youth experience a loss of culture, connection, and social supports which places them on a trajectory into poverty,” said Rey España, NAYA’s lead staff on the project. These challenges can be overcome with the intergenerational community model; bringing children, parents and Elders together to create intentional, lifelong bonds, keeping our Native foster youth housed in stable situations with the community support they deserve.

CELEBRATE 40 YEARS WITH COMMUNITY

BY ATTENDING NAYA EVENTS, YOU ENABLE NAYA’S SUCCESS AND STRENGTHEN OUR FUTURE The 11th annual NAYA Gala is Friday, November 14 and at the Portland Art Museum. The Gala is Oregon’s largest celebration of Native American Heritage Month, with more than 550 guests including elected officials, prominent Native leaders, and Elders from Portland and the Pacific Northwest. Event proceeds allow us to serve and benefit more than 9,000 community members impacted annually by our programs in education, employment training, cultural arts, and family services. In addition to celebrating our Native Community, this evening is an opportunity for us to connect with essential supporters, policy advocates, and the partners who 2013 Gala Keynote Speaker, ECA Graduate and Gates are critical to our success. Millennium Scholar Alexis Phillips, Navajo 2014 marks our 40th year of service celebrating the strength and sustaining the diverse cultures of our community. Over 40 years, we have grown as an organization, expanded our impact, and sustained and shared our traditions, helping to shape future generations of Native leaders. As we enter our next 40 years, we are excited to continue to grow while remaining Youth Centered, Family Driven and Elder Guided. To sponsor the Gala or purchase tickets go to nayagala.org or contact Anna Allen at AnnaA@nayapdx.org or 503.288.8177 x224. This event consistently sells out, you don’t want to miss it!

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The Native American Youth and Family Center 5135 NE COLUMBIA BLVD. PORTLAND, OR 97218-1201 p:503.288.8177 f:503.288.1260 www.nayapdx.org

NON PROFIT US POSTAGE PAID PORTLAND, OR PERMIT NO 2851

INSIDE 40 YEARS OF SERVICE AND COMMUNITY THE STORY IN OUR OWN WORDS WHY DO WE #LOVENAYA? ECA LUNCHEON AND GRADUATION NAYA GALA NOVEMBER 14TH

SAVE THE DATE

NEERCHOKIKOO POWWOW September 6th, 2014 12:00pm more info: nayapdx.org/powwow

July 2014 - 40 Years of Service Retrospective  

A look back at 40 years of growth at NAYA, our ECA Luncheon and Graduation, #loveNAYA, and a look ahead to Generations and our annual Gala N...

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