American Indian and Alaska Native (AI/AN) youth are strong and resilient. Unfortunately, many Native youth face daily microaggressions, fueled by negative stereotypes, the perpetuation of Indian mascots, invisibility in the mainstream media and the historical record, in addition to lateral violence regarding “Nativeness” and identity – which impede cultural pride.
Building cultural pride and positive identity can improve mental health and resilience for all youth and especially for Native youth. Here are some tools and resources you can use to support AI/AN students.
We R Native Website
We R Native is a comprehensive health resource for Native youth, by Native youth, providing content and stories about the topics that matter most to them. Their website and social media channels strive to promote holistic health and positive growth in local communities and the nation at large. Since its launch, the website has had over 2 million pageviews.
Caring Text Messages
Sometimes all it takes is a thoughtful note to brighten your day and shift your perspective. We all need a little more joy in our lives. The best part about being Native is that we have each other’s backs.
To join, youth can text “CARING’’ to 65664 (or “COLLEGE” to 65664 for college students). Youth will receive 1-2 text messages per week with funny videos, songs, and inspirational messages designed to remind them how awesome they are!