YOUTH CIRCLE COMMUNIQUE NO. 4
We, the Youth of the Traditional Circle of Indian Elders and Youth, want to share once again that we are grateful to the Elders and adults for the sacrifices they have made on our behalf to carry on our traditional teachings.
We recognize and acknowledge the struggles of the Youth within our communities to overcome drug and alcohol abuse, gang involvement, child abuse, suicide, teen pregnancy, and the loss of our culture. Unfortunately, as Youth, we are still confronted with these devastating problems. By coming together within the Youth Circle, we share our individual struggles which helps to strengthen us and supports us on our healing journey.
We of the Youth Circle recognize and acknowledge the confusion of many Native Youth who are choosing formal education, but who feel they are sacrificing their time when they could be with their Elders and families. Between a formal education and learning traditional ways, there is little time for a social life. This does not balance. We need ways as young people to find a solution where we can succeed in both societies, where we can find balance and walk healthy and confident in all directions. We are now living in two different worlds and to survive, we must learn to walk both paths. As young adults, it feels that we are torn between the past and the future. We need to establish a bond between learning traditional knowledge - our past - and learning western education - our future - so that we can interpret and incorporate what we need to be successful from and in both worlds.
The want and need for change is important in all our lives. We, the Youth of the Traditional Circle of Indian Elders and Youth, recognize that by attending gatherings such as the Traditional Circle of Indian Elders and Youth gatherings, we have made the first steps toward healing within our personal lives. It is apparent that prayer and commitment is an essential component in maintaining a balance within our lives. We, as Youth, must be willing to seek spiritual guidance so that we may live in harmony within ourselves.
We, the Youth of the Traditional Circle of Indian Elders and Youth, need the continued support, understanding, and guidance of the spiritually inspired Elders and adults in our lives. We also need mechanisms to continue and enhance ongoing communications within the Youth Circle to provide support to our vulnerable Youth members.
We, as Youth, recognize that WE have to want to change things within ourselves and make sacrifices to live a more healthy, balanced life. As the Youth of the Traditional Circle of Indian Elders and Youth, we strongly encourage all Youth to join us and begin in the healing process together.