Written by: Marissa Vele

On Saturday, July 22, fellow SLC Mentor, Dolly Potts, and I attended the Positive Youth Development in Indian Country Workshop in Green Bay. This workshop was put on by Susan and Dan Ninham. The purpose of this workshop was to encourage and develop programs and strategies that reduce risks and strengthen Native American children. Educators, administrators, counselors, college students and others working with youth were encouraged to attend.

Each speaker brought a wealth of knowledge to the room. The topics discussed were; the importance of spirituality, indigenous food systems as a culture based curriculum, talking circles, indigenous ways of being, mentoring programs, and engaging native youth through rigor and culture. I personally learned so much from this workshop and I was also reaffirmed about strategies that I am already using when working with youth.

After attending the workshop, we have implemented some of the strategies with our SLC group and are seeing positive reactions. I will also be bringing this knowledge back to my school year job at a local middle school to hopefully incorporate when interacting with the students. I am truly grateful to have attended this workshop and will not let the knowledge learned go to waste.