Creating Opportunities for Indigenous Youth at Bioneers

photo by Zoe Urness

It’s extremely rare that opportunities like the Bioneers Indigenous Forum come along. In 2014, we saw the largest-ever attendance by indigenous youth because of the collaboration with our community partners.

Our Native youth hold a sacred role for the health of our planet, yet come from underserved communities. With the help of San Manuel, we help foster new Native leaders by creating opportunities at the conference to participate, network and feel empowered. Paired with wise cultural mentors, they’re inspired to stay in school and become cultural, environmental and social justice leaders in Indian Country and beyond. We provide healthy meals and clean transportation from inner city locations for passionate young people who would not otherwise be able to attend.

Our esteemed Indigenous Knowledge program director Cara Romero (Chemehuevi) partners with Native organizations such as the The Cultural Conservancy, San Francisco Unified School District’s Indian Education Title VII Program, the Native American Health Center and The Intertribal Friendship House. The Native youth receive free transportation and healthy meals and snacks, as well as 3-day VIP passes, art and hands-on activities, and a Youth Talking Circle.

We believe that “If you can’t see it, you can’t be it.” California Indian educators have underscored the importance for Indigenous youth (especially K-12) to attend the Indigenous Forum because seldom are they are able to engage with leaders with whom they can closely identify. The high school dropout rate for Native American youth in public schools in 2013 was more than double that of all public school students in the US.

Inspirational Feedback

The Bioneers experience for Native youth has been transformative and helped inspire and shape future Indigenous leaders by placing them at the center of a growing movement. Thank you for helping us make it flourish. Please give generously.

“The Bay Area Indigenous youth have been impacted deeply by the experience of attending the Bioneers Conference 2014. From the moment of hearing about the conference, to being present/attending for three days, the youth and their families have expressed extreme gratitude for having been afforded such an opportunity.”—Paloma Flores, Director of SFUSD Indian Education

Make Indigenous Youth Scholarships Part of Your Legacy!

This year, we are looking to grow the number of full scholarships offered to Indigenous youth to 75 – or more with your support! Please visit our donate page today to make a tax-deductible contribution to the Youth Scholarship project.

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