It is the young men and women who are our future. The only way we will ever hope to prepare for the seventh generation to come is to nurture and care for our children today. In these uncertain times when the education of the young ones in the public school systems continues to deteriorate, we must rethink and take responsibility for those who will follow in our footsteps.We must remember that from time immemorial what constituted education and nurturance was an oral tradition where the young ones absorbed the teachings and wisdom of their family and elders.
The very survival of each and every person and the tribe as a whole depended on the collective wisdom of the community. Unlike our current culture, no one was expendable; each person had their place, their value, and their gifts.
The NCPC has funded numerous projects with the emphasis on Native youth for the continuance of language, life ways and traditions. Funding was provided to both Lillian Vallely and Chief Targee Academy to purchase materials such as buckskin, beads and other materials for Native American regalia. Funds were also provided to purchase seven copies of the book, When the Smoke Goes Straight Up by Donna Houtz McAurthur, a collection of traditional Shoshone/Bannock stories for inclusion in the classrooms and library of the Lillian Valley School.
Another one of the projects that the NCPC supports is “Bridging the Divide” which is a two-week summer program that unites Shoshone Bannock Youth and elders in a classroom and natural setting to allow students to learn and reconnect traditional knowledge and skills and to blend them with modern ecology that was held in June of this year.
The NCPC also provided funds to sponsor Everic Dupuy of the Blackfoot Tribe to attend the Montana Two Spirit Society Gathering. In addition, funds were provided for Tyler Pounds of the Shawnee Tribe and Everic to continue their studies in residence with Clyde Hall at his home in Idaho during the month of August.