Since their founding in 1990, the non-profit Native Youth Alliance (NYA) had a long list of accomplishments. They’ve sponsored programs for children in the Washington, DC area, including workshops and practice sessions on traditional dancing, music, crafts, and cooking. They held a thirty-day vigil on the Washington Monument Grounds called the “Tipi on the Mall for Native American Heritage Month,” every November for four years, between 1999 and 2002. They have worked with the Gwich’in Steering Committee and the Fort Mojave Tribal Council to hold vigils in the DC area for the preservation of the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge and in opposition of the proposed nuclear waste dumps at Ward Valley in California and Yucca Mountain in Nevada. These are just some of the contributions the NYA has made in the past 21-years, and they continue to pursue their stated goal of ensuring that “traditional Native American cultural and spiritual ways continue for the coming generations.”
NYA’s upcoming events include the Pipe Ceremony for the State of the Indian Nations and the Presidential Pow Wow, on February 18 & 19. The Pipe Ceremony will be held on the National Mall on Friday at noon, and the Pow Wow will be held in the Kennedy Ballroom of the Crowne Plaza Hotel, in Silver Spring, MD. On Friday evening there will be a reception, a Grass Dance special, and music performances by Cody Sunbear Blackbird and others, as well as a screening of the movie Reel Injuns. On Saturday afternoon the NYA will be honoring those from throughout Indian Country who are involved in the big issues concerning Native Americans today with song and dance, followed by a meal and an evening pow wow session. They’re currently accepting proposals from those who would like time to share their concerns on the microphone, and have a few table spaces left for information or craft booths. They’re also seeking sponsors at this time.
Native Youth Alliance is an incorporated Native organization and 501(c)(3), founded in 1990. For more information on NYA, please see their site at www.NativeYouthAlliance.org. You can reach them at 734-323-0762