There are 5.1 million Native Americans living in the United States right now, according to the U.S. Census Bureau. Despite this, when you Google “Native Americans,” here’s what comes up:
There are barely any photos of contemporary Native Americans in the search result. The silencing — and erasure — of Native American stories is one of the reasons Megan Red Shirt-Shaw, a 27-year-old member of the Oglala Sioux tribe, decided to create an online literary publication written for — and by — young Native Americans. MTV News spoke to Megan about the site, called Natives in America, and the importance of amplifying their voices.
“For a lot of Americans, there is this concept that indigenous people no longer exist or don’t have a voice or they died out,” she told us. “It’s time for our nations to have a voice and where better to do that than from the youth, who are on the ground, who are experiencing the issues first-hand, who are learning their languages, who are connected to social media. They’re the next generation – they’re the leaders. And so Natives in America is really a place for young leaders to share their stories and to show American contemporary culture that we are contemporary citizens.” […]
“I thought to myself, we have to figure out a way to share these voices, and it needs to be a consolidated effort,” she said.
Megan, who was a creative writing major at the University of Pennsylvania, said she wanted the site to be focused on writing. “I believe in the power of the written word,” she said. “I want the Natives in America writers to feel empowered that they can talk about something that’s happening in their community that isn’t making national news.” […]
Now, with 20 writers from across the country, the site covers a wide range of topics, from hip-hop to college experiences. “This team is the best team I could have ever dreamed of,” she said. “They’re just the most incredible group of young native people that I could have ever dreamed of, and I’m really thankful to them for that.” […]
“I would also love for us to be able to provide micro-scholarships to our contributors for college,” she said, “because these are students that believe in their own success and I would love to be able to celebrate that success with them.” […]
“[It’s about] having natives students who may be in high school or in college currently and are struggling or facing challenges being able to read other native youth saying ’I’ve had the same challenges, you can overcome this.’”
Source: This Activist Is Connecting Young Native Americans Through The Power Of Words – MTV
Address : http://www.mtv.com/news/2250690/natives-in-america-youth-online-youth-literary-publication/
Date Visited: Tue Oct 06 2015 13:56:00 GMT+0200 (CEST)