They understand and explain to us what those cycles of poverty and violence feed on and bring solutions.
It is vital that these young women, who are bravely breaking the silence that is killing them, be heard by all of us.
The victories of former generations’ activism, like regaining some control of Native American education, and increased revenue from casinos, helped instill a sense of pride in Native identity, agency, and cultural support that is now manifesting in the next generation’s activism.“What these young people were able to pull off was an inspiration, and attracted tribes from around the world and non-Native organizations,” Harris says.
On the front lines of Standing Rock, on the National Mall in Washington, D.
For Harris, seeing that happen was a moment of realization: this was the generation that could finally do it, finally turn things around.
As a child of the ’60s and ’70s, raised by a Native American mom who once ran for vice president, Harris has seen the differences play out across her lifetime.“Since I was a young girl there has been a push to bolster Native American kids’ identity, to have some pride,” she says.
At the Oceti Sakowin camp on the Standing Rock Sioux Reservation last year, Hope stood with thousands of others just like her.
Hope is part of a new generation of young Native American women who, by being at the frontlines of the activists’ movement unified in standing up for their rights, are overcoming the systemic challenges of poverty, substance abuse, mental health challenges, domestic and sexual violence, health and educational inequities, marginalization and racism.
It has only been a couple of weeks since authorities cleared away the makeshift village known as the Oceti Sakowin camp in Cannon Ball, N.
D., that was the home of the #No DAPL protests, and the activists are hoping to build on the momentum from Standing Rock.
C., in state capitols in New Mexico and Minnesota, a new generation of Native American youth are standing up and demanding change.