Engaging Native Boys in Education, Environment, and Tribal Lifeways: An Exploration
Listening sessions and forums for Native boys to strengthen their voice and assist professionals in development of programs to increase participation in education, environmental engagement, as well as tribal lifeways.
A seed grant of $49,309, for a 2-year project was awarded to a team led by Leisy Wyman, associate professor in the UA College of Education, to involve Native youth, specifically young men, in land-use practices and stewardship for indigenous communities. Wyman’s community partners are Melodie Lopez, founder and president of Indigenous Strategies and Native Education Alliance, and Eric Dhruv, project director at Ironwood Experience, an organization whose mission is to connect youth with their communities through nature.
The project grew out of Lopez’s previous work with tribal education leaders and will move forward with a series of listening sessions with Native teens from around Arizona. Land stewardship, including roles in agriculture, management, policy, preservation and education, could provide necessary opportunities for young Native American men to “grow up to be successful men in their tribes, and do the things that keep our tribes whole,” Lopez said.
The project will bring teens to the Santa Rita Mountains for outdoor education activities and will organize meetings among stakeholders, youth and elders across tribal affiliations.