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2017 Southwest IAC Membership Meeting Native Youth Event

Hosted​ ​at​ ​the​ ​Indian​ ​Pueblo​ ​Cultural​ ​Center​ ​-​ ​Albuquerque,​ ​NM 

 

Report​ ​by​ ​the​ ​Intertribal​ ​Agriculture​ ​Council​ ​Youth​ ​Programs​ ​Intern​ ​Sophia​ ​Keesie​ ​(Navajo) The​ ​2017​ ​Southwest​ ​Intertribal​ ​Agriculture​ ​Council​ ​Conference​ ​Youth​ ​Break-Out​ ​Session​ ​was​ ​a​ ​highlighted event​ ​at​ ​the​ ​Indian​ ​Pueblo​ ​Cultural​ ​Center,​ ​September​ ​26th,​ ​2017,​ ​with​ ​the​ ​support​ ​of​ ​the​​ ​Intertribal​ ​Agriculture Council,​ ​Natural​ ​Resource​ ​Conservation​ ​Services,​ ​and​ ​Eight​ ​Northern​ ​Pueblos​ ​Council.​ ​A​ ​total​ ​of​ ​15​ ​tribal nations​ ​were​ ​represented​ ​by​ ​4​ ​youth,​ ​4​ ​youth​ ​leaders,​ ​and​ ​9​ ​other​ ​participants. 

This​ ​four​ ​hour,​ ​region-wide​ ​event​ ​was​ ​in​ ​conjunction​ ​with​ ​the​ ​2017​ ​Southwest​ ​Intertribal​ ​Agriculture​ ​Council Meeting​;​ ​a​ ​2-day,​ ​regional​ ​event,​ ​located​ ​at​ ​the​ ​Indian​ ​Pueblo​ ​Cultural​ ​Center​ ​in​ ​Albuquerque,​ ​New​ ​Mexico. Planning​ ​and​ ​coordination​ ​was​ ​made​ ​possible​ ​with​ ​the​ ​assistance​ ​and​ ​leadership​ ​of​ ​past​ ​IAC​ ​participants serving​ ​as​ ​youth​ ​leaders,​ ​membership​ ​tribes​ ​and​ ​organizations​ ​serving​ ​as​ ​funding​ ​sponsors​ ​and​ ​hosts. 

With​ ​Mr.​ ​Ross​ ​Racine​ ​introducing​ ​the​ ​Intertribal​ ​Agriculture​ ​Council​ ​to​ ​youth​ ​participants,​ ​they​ ​had​ ​the​ ​chance to​ ​hear​ ​the​ ​background​ ​and​ ​history​ ​of​ ​the​ ​IAC.​ ​With​ ​the​ ​brief​ ​welcome​ ​also​ ​came​ ​with​ ​the​ ​recent​ ​discussions for​ ​the​ ​upcoming​ ​2018​ ​Farm​ ​Bill.​ ​The​ ​youth​ ​and​ ​other​ ​participants​ ​had​ ​the​ ​chance​ ​to​ ​hear​ ​first-hand​ ​of​ ​both advantages​ ​and​ ​disadvantages​ ​that​ ​the​ ​Farm​ ​Bill​ ​will​ ​have​ ​on​ ​Indian​ ​Country.​ ​Mr.​ ​Racine​ ​ensured​ ​that​ ​the Intertribal​ ​Agriculture​ ​will​ ​continue​ ​its​ ​efforts​ ​to​ ​encourage​ ​and​ ​prepare​ ​youth​ ​for​ ​the​ ​future​ ​of​ ​Indian​ ​Country Food​ ​Security. 

Youth​ ​attending​ ​the​ ​Southwest​ ​IAC​ ​Conference​ ​Youth​ ​Break-Out​ ​Session​ ​met​ ​with​ ​regional​ ​leadership,​ ​youth interns,​ ​and​ ​national​ ​organizations​ ​to​ ​touch​ ​on​ ​the​ ​barriers​ ​restricting​ ​and​ ​improved​ ​health​ ​among​ ​many​ ​parts​ ​of the​ ​Southwest​ ​Indian​ ​Country​ ​Region.​ ​Youth​ ​were​ ​exposed​ ​to​ ​available​ ​agricultural​ ​education​ ​opportunities, and​ ​afforded​ ​a​ ​networking​ ​opportunity​ ​most​ ​often​ ​hindered​ ​by​ ​the​ ​extremely​ ​rural​ ​communities​ ​which​ ​they​ ​each represented. 
 

Youth​ ​gained​ ​knowledge​ ​of​ ​resource​ ​managing​ ​and​ ​were​ ​exposed​ ​to​ ​the​ ​modern​ ​technology​ ​which​ ​will​ ​help​ ​to protect​ ​and​ ​preserve​ ​these​ ​traditions.​ ​Youth​ ​attendees​ ​were​ ​actively​ ​engaged​ ​in​ ​discussions​ ​around​ ​natural resource​ ​sustainability,​ ​healthy​ ​eating​ ​choices,​ ​higher​ ​education​ ​for​ ​Youth​ ​Ag​ ​interests,​ ​and​ ​securing​ ​financial capital​ ​for​ ​agricultural​ ​endeavors.​ ​​ ​This​ ​time,​ ​however,​ ​youth​ ​learned​ ​from​ ​their​ ​peers;​ ​the​ ​entire​ ​four-hours​ ​of presentations​ ​was​ ​lead​ ​by​ ​youth​ ​that​ ​had​ ​successfully​ ​participated​ ​in​ ​the​ ​opportunities​ ​discussed​ ​in​ ​previous IAC​ ​events.​ ​Two​ ​youth​ ​attendees​ ​presented​ ​about​ ​the​ ​Youth​ ​Loans​ ​that​ ​they​ ​received​ ​through​ ​the​ ​Farm​ ​Service Agency,​ ​to​ ​establish​ ​themselves​ ​among​ ​their​ ​family​ ​ranching​ ​operation.​ ​Julian​ ​Louis​ ​(Acoma​ ​Pueblo)​ ​and Nicholas​ ​Naranjo​ ​(Santa​ ​Clara​ ​Pueblo)​ ​shared​ ​how​ ​they​ ​spent​ ​their​ ​money,​ ​their​ ​progress,​ ​and​ ​their​ ​successes​ ​in working​ ​with​ ​the​ ​Intertribal​ ​Agriculture​ ​Council’s​ ​Technical​ ​Assistance​ ​Program​ ​throughout​ ​the​ ​application process,​ ​start​ ​up​ ​of​ ​their​ ​operation,​ ​and​ ​further​ ​pursuing​ ​the​ ​IAC’s​ ​Youth​ ​Equity​ ​Grant!​ ​After​ ​sharing​ ​their personal​ ​experience,​ ​they​ ​both​ ​collaborated​ ​to​ ​conduct​ ​an​ ​application​ ​workshop​ ​and​ ​assisted​ ​youth​ ​participants in​ ​filling​ ​out​ ​their​ ​own​ ​FSA​ ​Youth​ ​Loan​ ​Applications. 

Local​ ​tribal​ ​leadership​ ​made​ ​their​ ​support​ ​of​ ​youth​ ​efforts​ ​very​ ​evident​ ​through​ ​their​ ​participation​ ​in presentations.​​ ​​The​ ​youth​ ​participants​ ​engaged​ ​in​ ​all​ ​discussions​ ​that​ ​surrounded​ ​the​ ​purpose​ ​of​ ​acquiring​ ​goods to​ ​produce,​ ​managing​ ​resources,​ ​and​ ​pursuing​ ​food​ ​and​ ​agriculture-related​ ​business​ ​enterprises.​ ​The​ ​Intertribal Agriculture​ ​Council​ ​looks​ ​forward​ ​to​ ​future​ ​food​ ​sovereignty​ ​efforts​ ​being​ ​pursued​ ​by​ ​these​ ​young​ ​leaders​ ​in the​ ​coming​ ​years.​ ​The​ ​success​ ​of​ ​this​ ​event​ ​can​ ​be​ ​most​ ​readily​ ​measured​ ​in​ ​the​ ​group’s​ ​desire​ ​to​ ​pursue​ ​a leadership​ ​role​ ​within​ ​their​ ​community’s​ ​food​ ​and​ ​agricultural​ ​development​ ​after​ ​attending​ ​the​ ​summit;​ ​the overarching​ ​goal​ ​of​ ​all​ ​youth​ ​efforts​ ​driven​ ​by​ ​the​ ​Intertribal​ ​Agriculture​ ​Council. 

100 North 27th Street, Suite 500, Billings, MT 59101 

Tel: (406) 259-3525  |  Fax: (406) 256-9980

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