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EMPOWERING THE LIVES OF NATIVE AMERICANS IN THE PORTLAND AREA

WINTER 2015

NATIVE STUDENT LEADERS SHINE 1.

1. NAYA’s Early College Academy students performed culturally inspired slam poetry at the NAYA Gala. The youth collectively wrote the poem to address the experiences, issues, concerns they face as Native youth. Read more about these inspiring youth on page 6. 2. NAYA is excited to announce a new Early Childhood Education program for children six weeks to 36 months. In 2016, classes will open for enrollment into a childcare and education program. NAYA plans to integrate a culturally-specific curriculum with important educational objectives for youngsters so they will be ready for Head Start by age three. Read more about this program on page 3.

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4. U.S. Senator Jeff Merkley is an active supporter of initiatives that uplift Portland’s Native community. Recently, Senator Merkley experienced Portland’s transit system during a morning ride along with Cazmine Bonnott, Lakota. Later that day he presented a new bill to increase transit accessibility for urban communities like Portland. In November, Senator Merkley hosted the Multnomah County Town Hall at NAYA. He listened to students, Elders, and community members as they shared their concerns and ideas.

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3. NAYA’s Winter Gathering is a time for community to come together and enjoy a festive evening celebrating the winter season. A holiday meal is shared as a family and activities for kids and youth will be available. There’s a rumor that a special guest will be making an appearance!

5. NAYA youth experience culturally-specific summer camp programs that draw upon Native traditions and values. These camps and special opportunities like the White House Tribal Youth Gathering emphasize the importance of teaching culture and supporting cultural identity. See some of the summer’s highlights that NAYA youth had on page 4-5. 6. The 2015 NAYA Gala was our best yet! The evening was spectacular from the introduction video, NAYA’s ECA students’ slam poetry, and an inspiring story from Davineekaht White Elk, Ute/Blackfoot, receiving educational supports from NAYA to be a successful college student today. Thank you to our sponsors, donors, and friends for a fun and successful evening. Check out page 7 for more photos, and online on our Facebook album.

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7. NAYA’s Neerchokikoo powwow celebrates the traditional lands that NAYA sits on. Community gathers for a day filled with traditional dancing, drumming, and singing. A few highlights are captured on page 6, and online on our Facebook page.


NATIVE AMERICAN YOUTH & FAMILY CENTER NEWSLETTER

WINTER 2015

PATHS TO HOMEOWNERSHIP

RENTERS, HOMEOWNERS, AND HOUSE HUNTERS FIND RESOURCES IN TIGHT HOUSING MARKET

NAYA’s Housing to Homeownership Fair offered renters, homeowners, and those looking to buy opportunities to meet and ask questions from trusted partners. Vendors and workshops shared information about lead awareness, green cleaners, and how organizations like Proud Ground support Portland’s Native community. Attendees won raffles for household gifts, down payment and rent/mortgage assistance. For homeownership info visit nayapdx.org/homeownership.

INDIGENOUS PROCLAMATION MOVEMENT

NATIVE COMMUNITY AND SUPPORTERS RECLAIM COLUMBUS DAY

The City of Portland, Multnomah County, Metro, and the State of Oregon all made proclamations to honor and recognize the second Monday in October as Indigenous Peoples’ Day. Native leaders advocated having what is nationally known as Columbus day replaced with a day that honors and celebrates the past, and current contributions Indigenous people make to our community.

(Left) Portland’s Native leaders attend City Council meeting to have the Indigenous Peoples’ Day proclamation declared. (Right) Fish Martinez and Young Woodley, Eastern Shoshone, sing an honor song at Multnomah County board meeting. 2


NATIVE AMERICAN YOUTH & FAMILY CENTER NEWSLETTER

WINTER 2015

NAYA RESPONDS TO COMMUNITY NEED

COMMUNITY TO GET NEW EARLY CHILDHOOD PROGRAM FOR INFANTS

NAYA’s early childhood program is growing! Our community has asked for trusted childcare from a trusted provider. We’re is excited to announce we will begin culturallyspecific Early Head Start classes for children six weeks to 36 months in 2016. In partnership with the Oregon Child Development Coalition, NAYA will enroll children considering income and ability a priority. Community surveys and focus groups helped identify the need for clients and families to have dependable, trusted, and culturally-specific childcare. Our program will allow children to be immersed in a classroom that nurtures Indigenous values and is surrounded by Native traditions, such as drumming, traditional storytelling, and using animals and icons associated with Native culture, like salmon, bear, raven, etc. To learn more about eligibility and details of the program, visit nayapdx.org/earlyheadstart.

GENERATIONS READY TO BREAK GROUND

BRINGING FOSTER YOUTH AND FAMILIES TOGETHER

A little over a year ago, NAYA announced the Generations project; an initiative solution to address the disproportionate number of Native American youth in the child welfare system. Generations is a community intended to create permanent families for foster youth, and utilize our Elders’ wisdom to guide them. Generations is a community solution deeply rooted in Native tradition, and a first of its kind in our country. With hard work of dedicated staff, board, and community partners, NAYA has secured the necessary funding and financing to break ground. Thanks to funding from partners like Meyer Memorial Trust, low income housing tax credits, and the support of our community and our partners we will be creating healthy, permanent Native families for generations to come. Watch the Generations video and learn more at nayapdx.org/generations.

NAYA Foster youth Elizabeth McConnell, Umatilla, shares her story at the Generations signing ceremony last summer. Her hopes for Native youth to have permanent housing with Native families is on its way to becoming a reality as Generations breaks ground soon.

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NATIVE AMERICAN YOUTH & FAMILY CENTER NEWSLETTER

WINTER 2015

A SUMMER OF FUN FOR NAYA YOUTH

NAYA’S FOUR SUMMER CAMPS ENGAGE YOUTH IN TRADITIONAL VALUES

NAYA’s summer camps allow children, adolescents, and high school youth to explore opportunities to engage in culturally-specific activities. Camp days are filled with academic enriching objectives that lessen summer learning loss. Writing, reading, and math skills are integrated into programming with field trips to OMSI, beading, painting, and gardening. Special guests included Jude Schimmel, Umatilla, and family, Judy Blue Horse Skelton, and skate boarding instructors.

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NATIVE AMERICAN YOUTH & FAMILY CENTER NEWSLETTER

WINTER 2015

NAYA YOUTH VISIT WHITE HOUSE

GEN-I CHALLENGE WINNERS GO TO WASHINGTON D.C.

Native youth from around the country traveled to Washington D.C. for the first White House Tribal Youth Gathering. Five NAYA youth were selected to attend after answering President Obama’s Generation Indigenous (Gen-I) challenge. Michelle Obama spoke to the youth encouraging them to embrace their cultural identity and become the next generation of leaders. Youth had a once-in-a-lifetime experience at the White House, check out NAYA’s blog to learn more about the Gen-I challenge and the initiatives NAYA youth completed.

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NATIVE AMERICAN YOUTH & FAMILY CENTER NEWSLETTER

WINTER 2015

POWWOW HONORS TRADITION & FRIENDS

COMMUNITY MEMBERS, PARTNERS, & FRIENDS GATHER TO DANCE, SING, AND CELEBRATE HERITAGE

The Neerchokikoo powwow celebrated cultural traditions through dancing, singing, drumming and art. A special ceremony honored NAYA volunteers and community partners, Elders, and veterans for their support and work in Portland’s Native community. Visit our Facebook page for more powwow photos.

POWERFUL START TO GALA WITH STUDENTS

ECA STUDENTS PERFORM SLAM POETRY IN FRONT OF 550 GUESTS AT THE NAYA GALA

The gala started with lots of energy from an inspiring performance from NAYA’s Early College Academy students. They shared their experiences and struggles of being Native American today and spoke of their traditions and the strength they find in cultural identity.

ECA students and Youth Advocates delivered a powerful message of cultural identity, empowerment at the NAYA Gala 6

The poem was a collaborative effort written by the students to deliver a meaningful message to the gala audience about Native history, youth empowerment, and leadership. NAYA Youth Advocate Clay River, Pasamaquoddy, supported the students by encouraging them to use this opportunity to advocate for their generation and be leaders with strong voices. Read more about the ECA students and the poem they collaboratively wrote at nayapdx.org/blog


NATIVE AMERICAN YOUTH & FAMILY CENTER NEWSLETTER

WINTER 2015

GALA EXCEEDS EXPECTATIONS

Thank you to our sponsors, donors, and friends for a successful evening raising more than $330,000. If you weren’t able to attend, visit NAYA’s Facebook page to see photos and videos from the night.

Thank You P otlatch

I llahee

T illicum

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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 nayapdx.org

NON PROFIT US POSTAGE PAID PORTLAND, OR PERMIT NO 2851

INSIDE INDIGENOUS PEOPLES’ DAY EARLY CHILDHOOD PROGRAM EXPANSION GENERATIONS UPDATE SUMMER CAMPS NAYA IN D.C. FOR TRIBAL YOUTH GATHERING NEERCHOKIKOO POWWOW NAYA GALA

SAVE THE DATE

Winter Gathering Wednesday, 12/16/2015 NAYA Family Center

5135 NE Columbia Blvd Portland, OR For

info r mat i on v i s it :

nayap dx . o rg / w in t e rg at h e r ing

Winter 2015 Newsletter  
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