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Apr/May/Jun 2 1ofof4 4 Jan/Feb/Mar 2013 2011 Spring Spring Newsletter, Newsletter,Volume Volume18, 16,Issue Issue

Author, Poet Sherman Alexie Speaks to Youth and Elders By Leah Gibson, Grants & Communications Coordinator On Tuesday, March 12, Native American author Sherman Alexie (Coeur d’Alene) met with NAYA Family Center’s Early College Academy youth and elders. “Having Alexie share his life and his educational path was a powerful experience for our students and community to hear,” says Executive Director Matt Morton (Squaxin Island). Alexie told the audience funny, and sometimes heartbreaking, stories of his childhood growing up in Wellpinit, reservation life, college human anatomy coursework, alcoholism in his family and idenity. “He’s a funny guy, but he’s also teaching you through his stories,” says Elder Linda Meanus (Warm Springs). Alexie’s visit to NAYA Family Center, as well as his lecture later that evening at the Arlene Schnitzer Concert Hall, was part of a program through Multnomah County Library called “Everybody Reads.” Staff from Literary Arts reached out to NAYA Family Center and facilitated the events.

Alexie is the author of The Absolutely True Diary of a Part-Time Indian, The Lone Ranger and Tonto Fistfight in Heaven, Reservation Blues and War Dances.

PPS Board Votes to Support NAYA Generations Project By Oscar Arana, Director of Development & Strategic Communications

The project is based on a similar project in the Portsmouth neighborhood, Bridge Meadows, which operates on the former Ball Elementary School site and was developed by Guardian Management. Guardian is also developing the Generations project.

PG. 1

NAYA Family Center is a step closer to providing intergenerational housing and early learning services through its Generations project. Portland Public Schools board voted 4–0 to enter a lease agreement with the City of Portland, which will allow NAYA to redevelop and sublease Foster Elementary School (which is currently not providing services). NAYA plans to develop approximately 40 units of housing designed for Native families and Elders wanting to adopt foster children. The plan also includes developing an early learning center on the same site. “This project is going to directly benefit some of the most vulnerable children and Elders in our community,” says Rey España, NAYA’s director of community development. “We will create a sense of permanency in the lives of children who experience the most housing instability.” NAYA executive director and PPS board member, Matt Morton, abstained from the vote.


NAYA FAMILY CENTER NEWS

APR/MAY/JUN 2013

Leadership Program Graduates New Class of Leaders By Lai-Lani Ovalles, Indigenous Community Engagement Coordinator

Oregon LEAD Program 2012–13 Cohort Graduates: Krystalskye Alexander (Native Hawaiian and Pacific Islander), Native American Youth & Family Center Tileah Begay (Navajo), National Indian Child Welfare Association Caitlin Bergeon (Menominee), Reed College Arturo Caro (Yaqui and Huichol), Oregon Food Bank Nicole Charley (Warm Springs), Columbia River Intertribal Fish Commission Rachel Cushman (Lower Chinook Indian Nation and Quinault), Portland State University Roberta Eagle Horse (Lower Brule Sioux), Planned Parenthood Columbia-Willamette Kelley Ellis (Siletz), Confederated Tribes of Siletz Indians Kelly Gonzales (Cherokee), Portland State University Ashley Horne, National Indian Child Welfare Association Stephanie Kelley (Shoshone), NAYA Early College Academy Martin Perez (Klamath-Modoc), NAYA Early College Academy Larry Rank (Klamath), Native American Youth & Family Center Yolonda Salguiero (Yakama and Warm Springs), Oregon Health & Sciences University Tessa Sayers (Turtle Mountain Chippewa), NIKE N7 Program Norma Trefren (Siletz), Confederated Tribes of Siletz Indians Joshua Ga-Lo Vann (Western Band Cherokee), Oregon Health & Sciences University Terresa White (Yupik), Oregon Health Authority

Eighteen Native American professionals recently graduated from NAYA’s premier leadership program: Oregon LEAD. The goal of the program is to support and build the capacity of emerging Native American leaders in Oregon to improve the lives of Native American children and families. The LEAD cohort participated in over 100 hours of training and meetings with leaders and mentors. Cohort members were able to develop their core leadership skills through workshops in community organizing, communication, advocacy, fundraising and effective program and organizational management. Another key component to this experience was to expand the networks and deepen relationships among Native leaders and community leaders. Tessa Sayers (Turtle Mountain Chippewa) of the Nike N7 Program, says, “The LEAD Program introduced me to various tribal community members and leaders. My work with Nike N7 expands across North America, and relationships are key.” This statewide cohort represents a cross section of fields including educational institutions, diverse nonprofit organizations, tribal governments, businesses, and health and science institutions. The LEAD program is funded by Meyer Memorial Trust. The LEAD program will begin to outreach and select the next cohort this spring. For more information, contact Lai-Lani Ovalles at (503) 288-8177 extension 213 or lailanio@naypdx.org.

NAYA’s Parenting Program Inspires Families By Ashley Thirstrup, Direct Services Manager

Priscilla Standish has 8 children and 10 grandchildren.

Parent and grandparent Priscilla Standish (Northern Arapaho) recently convinced her three adult daughters and their partners to attend NAYA’s Parents Helping Parents class with her. “I wanted to do this to change, strengthen and empower my whole family,” says Priscilla. The Parents Helping Parents six-month class occurs weekly and covers topics such as child developmental stages, development of the brain, creating family values and how to deal with power struggles. Priscilla organized family meetings to help family members support each other and make sure everyone achieved their goals. She is now registered at Portland Community College to pursue her college degree, and two of her daughters completed GED programs with plans to further their education. For more information about Parents Helping Parents, contact Kathy Scott at (503) 288-8177 extension 316 or kathys@nayapdx.org.

PG. 2


NAYA FAMILY CENTER NEWS

APR/MAY/JUN 2013

Sunrise EAST Prepares Youth for Successful Careers By Jen Matheson, Career Skills Development Manager

Savannah Jackson plans on transferring to a four-year university.

NAYA Family Center is offering a new youth program, Sunrise EAST (Education and Skills Training), that prepares youth ages 16–21 for successful careers through continued education and work-based learning. Youth explore careers, participate in work readiness training, access paid internships and put together application materials. Savannah Jackson (Klamath–Modoc), anthropology major at Clackamas Community College, loves learning about the similarities between people and tribal communities around the world. Savannah’s advice for students is to research scholarships. “Stay after class and ask questions,” says Savannah. “You want your professor to know you and remember your name.” She works about 20–30 hours a week to pay for school and help out her family. NAYA’s Sunrise EAST program has helped pay for her books. She plans to transfer to Oregon State University or Portland State University to complete her degree. Want to know more about Sunrise EAST? Contact Career Skills Development Coach Nellie McConville (Nez Perce) at (503) 288-8177 extension 326 or nelliem@nayapdx.org. Thank you to our program funder Worksystem, Inc., and the other providers in the Career Connect Network.

Grant Eliminates Barriers to Admissions Process By Tamara Henderson, College and Career Center Coordinator Earlier this year, three NAYA youth—Alexis Phillips (Navajo), William Kerney (Klamath) and Ruben Joe (Navajo)—were awarded Higher Education Support Grants. The Higher Education Support Grant is a partnership between the National Urban Indian Family Coalition (NUIFC) and Pepsico-RISE. The funding, ranging from $500 to $1,500, was developed to help eliminate barriers to students during the college admissions process. “It’s taken a lot of stress off me,” says Alexis, who is currently a Gates Millenium Scholar. “You don’t necessarily think about paying for application fees in May. I was worried about how I was going to do that.” Alexis has used most of her grant for application fees and for a cell phone so that she won’t miss calls from admissions departments; she has applied to 15 schools and has already started receiving acceptance letters. Ruben (pictured above), who is applying to several Oregon universities and community colleges, is planning to use his grant for a laptop to apply to schools online. William recently used his grant to pay for a trip to Atlanta, Georgia, to visit his choice school, Morehouse College.

PG. 3

Youth Recognition: Alecia McConnell

We want to recognize Alecia McConnell (Umatilla) for her courage in attending and providing testimony at the Portland Public Schools Board meeting on March 11 on behalf of foster care youth. She has participated in our youth services and foster care youth programming. Alecia is a freshman in high school and is currently homeschooled.


NAYA FAMILY CENTER NEWS

APR/MAY/JUN 2013

Spring Break Camps Inspire Team Building By Daniel Rowell, Education Coordinator (Photos by Justine Reimnitz) Eighty-five students participated in NAYA spring break camp activities from March 25 to March 29. Approximately 60 kindergarten to 8th-grade students participated in cultural arts activities, sports and recreation, health and wellness activities and “salmon and strawberry” environmental science education during NAYA’s spring break program last week “I have been going to summer camp for three years,” says Hannah Smith (Lakota and Salt River Pima), age 12. “My favorite part is cultural arts.” Awards were given to students for demonstration of NAYA’s Core Values and positive participation. The high school spring break camp also hosted 25 youth who participated in traditional Native games, teambuilding activities at Camp Magruder, career exploration restoration and riparian work with the US Forest Service and an excursion day at the beach. Pierce Nelson (Oglala Lakota), 17, says his favorite part about the high school camp is the traditional games. “Shinny is a really intense, exciting game,” he says, “and I like that the staff play it with us and teach us at the same time.” Shinny, one of the many traditional games taught during summer camp, is similar to lacrosse and involves a lot of teamwork, stamina and endurance. Youth advocates teach youth about the history of the game and the Native culture that it comes from while the youth are playing. For more information on youth programming, including summer and spring break camps, contact Rebekah Main at (503) 288-8177 ext. 240 or rebekahm@nayapdx.org.

PG. 4


NAYA FAMILY CENTER NEWS

APR/MAY/JUN 2013

NAYA Talent Show Brings Community Together By Letisia Ayala, Youth Advocate (Photos by Justine Reimnitz) It was another successful year for our NAYA’s Got Talent Family Night Showcase, with a total attendance of 153 youth and families. The emcee for the night was Jason Stacona, who did a beautiful job facilitating and running a smooth show. There were 18 acts, including hula-hooping, singing, cheerleading, musicians, contemporary dancing, poetry reading, rapping and hoop dancing. Four participants were chosen by a committee of NAYA directors to receive one $25 dollar VISA card each. Congratulations to everyone who participated in making this event a huge success, and a special thank you to the Talent Committee for putting on such an amazing show!

PG. 5


NAYA FAMILY CENTER NEWS

APR/MAY/JUN 2013

NAYA Hosts First Basketball Tournament in Four Years By Micah Johnson, Recreation Coordinator On March 15th and 16th, NAYA hosted its first tournament in the past four years. Six teams participated—the ECA, NAYA community, Open Meadow, Wolfpack (coached by Wes Hutt), Native Relatives (coached by Gary Westley) and a NAYA Alumni team. The Wolfpack team won the tournament against the NAYA community team. Here are updated statistics for all of our basketball teams for the past season: 6th-grade girls 8th-grade girls High school girls 5th-grade boys 6th-grade boys 8th-grade boys ECA boys

7–4 8–3 4–7 0–11 6–8 1–11 8–6

Coach: Micah Johnson Coach: Ron & Kim Banks Coach: Stephanie Kelley Coach: Lonnie Smith Coach: Eddie Sherman Coach: Gary Westley Coach: Micah Johnson

All of our teams have been showing great improvement. In particular, we want to recognize the newly formed 5th-grade boys’ team. Although they haven’t had a win this season, they came very, very close in many games. The 8th-grade boys’ team also was recently re-formed and did have one win this season with several very close games. We look forward to next season!

NAYA Addresses Health Issues Through Civic Engagement By Oscar Arana, Director of Strategic Development & Communications NAYA Family Center is building its civic engagement capacity by getting involved in the fluoride campaign. NAYA Family Center’s decision to get involved in this effort is part of a larger strategy to address health issues affecting the Native community. “Native American preschoolers are 5 times more likely to have tooth decay than any other ethnic group,” says Matt Morton, NAYA Family Center’s Executive Director. “I saw this first hand when we opened our Head Start classroom last year; the vast majority of kids in the class had already experienced significant tooth decay.” “Nine out of ten clients that I see ask me for dental services,” says Melissa Henderson, NAYA Family Center’s Health Care Youth Advocate. There is an overwhelming sense of urgency when it comes to the health of our community. This campaign is an opportunity to influence positive change that will benefit our entire community regardless of income and access to health care.

NAYA received support from the Northwest Health Foundation to fund its civic engagement efforts.

PG. 6


NAYA FAMILY CENTER NEWS

APR/MAY/JUN 2013

Elders Focus on Bringing Canoe Journey Dream to Life By Leah Gibson, Grants & Communications Coordinator

If you are interested in supporting the Elders’ vision, please contact Anna Allen at annaa@nayapdx.org or (503) 288-8177 extension 277.

NAYA Staff Member Scores 100% on Database Skills Test Sarah Estes, our Research, Learning and Training Coordinator, scored a 100% on the Efforts to Outcomes administration certification! Sarah is now a Gold-certified ETO Administrator, which means that our organization has a strong administrator with the skills necessary to fully utilize performance management tools and connect with other ETO Software Services more efficiently. The accomplishment also came with a $500 coupon good for use towards ETO products and services, which we have already used towards the cost of new user accounts for the organization. ETO is performance management software that NAYA Family Center uses to track a range of information that measures the impacts of our services for Native families.

Elders Larry Dauphinais and John Laverdure (both Turtle Mountain Chippewa/Ojibwe) make the trek along Oregon and Washington riversides to follow the annual Tribal Canoe Journey every year, and they dream about the day when NAYA Family Center will have its own canoe, paddled by our community’s youth. In fact, they believe in this dream so much that they are leading a group of Elders who have put together a three-year plan. The NAYA Canoe Journey Project will pair Native youth with their Elders to learn about the Tribal Canoe Journey’s history and the cultural significance of water across Native cultures. “Most of us come from a water culture,” says Elder Mary Renville (Sisseton Wahpeton Oyate). “We have a spiritual connection with water; our youth have lost that connection, and this project will reestablish it.”

Health Focus Keeps Elders Active and Engaged “I want to pay tribute to NAYA for treating their elders so well. I’d be lost without a respectful place to come and participate in community” says Larry Dauphinais (Turtle Mountain Chippewa), a respected Elder in the community. He has participated in many wellness services provided by NAYA Family Center. Larry has accessed our free health screenings, receiving monthly blood pressure, weight and sight check-ins. He also used this time to ask questions about his overall health, and talk to a registered nurse about his health concerns and preventative care. His favorite program offered is Tai Chi, where he can join his peers in physical and mental health three days a week right before taking advantage of the free healthy meals NAYA provides to Elders daily through Nawitka Catering.

PG. 7


5135 NE Columbia Blvd. Portland, OR 97218-1201 Phone: 503-288-8177 Fax: 503-288-1260 www.nayapdx.org

Enhancing the diverse strengths of our youth and families in partnership with the community through cultural identity and education Youth Driven • Family Focused • Elder Guided


April/May/June 2013 Newsletter