ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. – July 5, 2019 – Focused on investing in Native youth who are community change makers and leaders, the annual Native Youth Summit provides a unique opportunity for the Coalition to Stop Violence Against Native Women (CSVANW) to inspire and support the next generation of New Mexico’s Tribal leaders in the movement to break cycles of violence within Tribal communities.
CSVANW is hosting its 8thAnnual Native Youth Summit from July 10th to 12th at Santa Ana Pueblo, New Mexico. This years theme is “We Believe Survivors” to continue to raise awareness of sexual violence against Native people. To align the themes with CSVANW’s mission to initiate social change, the Native Youth Summit will focus on land, self-care, and movement building for our participants to strengthen our Tribal communities.
Native youth exposure to violence and/or perpetuation of violence is a persistent and complex problem within the state of New Mexico. According to The National Council on Crime and Delinquency Focus, one in three teens is a victim of physical, emotional, or verbal abuse from a dating partner (Davis, 2008). The Teenage Research Unlimited also reported that only 33% of teens say they told someone after experiencing dating violence (Claiborne, 2005).
“Indigenous young folx have understanding of what is happening on the ground and in their own Native Nations, they have the knowledge and understanding to create sustainable solutions when they are given the right tools and framework to sustain their passion,” says lead organizer and CSVANW Native Youth Coordinator, Keioshiah Peter (Diné).
The annual Native Youth Summit aims to provide an engaging opportunity for addressing the issues youth face in their communities. Workshops this year are focused around breaking cycles of dating violence, cyber-bullying, and learning about healthy relationships from a land-based perspective.
Upon completion of the summit, CSVANW hopes that youth will be inspired and prepared to return to their communities to support and empower their peers to join the movement to end violence through positive value-based and community led strategies.
“The Native Youth Summit, to me, means to make a change in my community… to stand up, fight for what we believe in. And I know that I have a voice that I can use to help my tribe. I am proud that I came,” says a previous participant of the 2017 Native Youth Summit.
The summit has ushered in nearly 40 Native youth from across New Mexico. Participants range in age from ages 13 to 17 years old and represent over 20 Pueblos, nations and tribes in this year’s cohort. In a highly selective admissions process, selected applicants were selected based on one criteria: being directly affected by violence and wanting to help break cycles of violence within their families and communities.
Summit participants receive an all-expenses-paid scholarship of nearly $1,500 to cover their attendance for four days and they are made possible from generous contributions, foundation grants and sponsorships. Funders and sponsors includes the Native Americans in Philanthropy, Funders Collaborative on Youth Organizing, Verizon Wireless, Department of Health, New Mexico Coalition of Sexual Assault Programs, and individual donations.
For more information on the 8th Annual Native Youth Summit, go to www.csvanw.org