In this two-minute video, a group of Native youth declare, “We are Indian! We are Proud!”
The youth in the video are all youth ambassadors for the California Indian Museum and Cultural Center.
The Tribal Ambassadors Through Theater program puts a group of Native youth through a week-long summer camp where they learn performance, storytelling, digital media production, Native language and public speaking skills—all enriched with California Indian history and culture.
At the end of the week, the youth perform in front of a fourth-grade audience and their teachers to spread the word about Native history and culture from a Native perspective. This year’s group of Native youth had an audience of 1,600 for their “Journeys to the Past” presentation in October 2012, said California Indian Museum and Cultural Center Director Nicole Lim, Pomo.
“The idea was to give them skills in history and public speaking so they had confidence in educating others about California Indians,” she told ICTMN. “It was a great success.”
Lim said the video wasn’t really planned but came about after talking to the youth and hearing why they were proud to be an Indian.
“The video reflects all of the things that were on their minds when they began the program,” she said. “The kids really enjoyed the program and having this media piece that was done in a really positive way showcasing their pride and heritage was really wonderful.”
The video will be used in upcoming programs to showcase the impacts that misinformation and stereotypes can have on Native kids.