IAMNDN: Empowering Our Native Youth & Future Leaders

Posted By Toyacoyah Brown August 10th, 2015 Last Updated on: August 10th, 2015


Our youth are our future and we must do everything we can to ensure their success. Sometimes though outside influences can take a hold of self-esteem and affect life choices. That's why positive programs such an IAMNDN (Native Drug Free Nations) out of Oklahoma are important in our communities. IAMNDN's ultimate goal is to bridge the generational communication gap between adults, young adults and teenagers, to inspire and initiate dialogue between younger tribal members and current tribal leaders.

From their mission statement:

IAMNDN is committed to promoting a higher level of self-esteem by featuring extraordinary local youth in television commercials and print media such as billboards and posters. Educational materials will also be distributed through the use of social media outlets. IAMNDN is going to challenge the stereotypes of old. Historically to be Native was synonymous with alcoholic, drug addict, loser, stupid, ignorant and unemployed. Today’s youth are fancy dancers, tribal princesses, straight A students, quarterbacks, point-guards, and college graduates.

True, it's important to have positive influences and people to look up to. And look where these positive life choices can take you, the White House!


But don't just take my word for it. See what some of the youth have been involved with since they joined IAMNDN. The media camp even helped edit this video!

Music is a great creative outlet and definitely a big part of Native culture which is why some of the IAMNDN youth came together to form a Comanche Choir. They were invited to Medicine Bluff to perform Comanche Hymns in front of elders, fellow youth, and the Comanche Nation Chairman.


The IAMNDN program is based out of Lawton, Oklahoma but they have clubs throughout Comanche Nation. Do you see your area listed below?

Cotton County

  • Walters Native American Club

Comanche County

  • Cache Native American Club
  • Elgin Native American Club
  • Lawton Public Schools:
    • Lawton High School Native American Club
    • MacArthur Native American Club
    • Eisenhower Native American Club

Caddo County

  • Apache Native American Club
  • Anadarko Native American Club
  • Riverside Native American Club


And here's what's on the agenda for 2015 IAMNDN events!

September 25, 26 & 27th – 24th Annual Comanche Nation Fair, Comanche Tribal Complex, Lawton, OK
IAMNDN sponsored events during the fair include:

  • Saturday Sept. 26th – IAMNDN Youth Jam with DJ Marty “Mar” 7 – 11:30 PM @ Watchetaker Hall.
  • IAMNDN Youth Art Show – artwork must be turned in by 3pm Saturday Sept 26th. Reception and prize presentation Sunday 6 PM Old Conference Room Comanche Trial Complex.
    Age groups:

      • 3-6 – 1st $75, 2nd $50, 3rd $25
      • 7–12 – 1st $150, 2nd $100, 3rd $50
      • 13–18 – 1st $250, 2nd $150, 3rd $100

    All artwork should be on a standard 11 x 17 inch format.
    All artwork becomes the property of IAMNDN and may be used during later graphic productions / Public Service Announcements.
    All monetary prizes will be in the form of Wal-Mart gift cards.

October 23 & 24th

      – Spiritual Retreat Camp Y’shua Wichita Mountains

October 30th – Monsters Ball Costume Party & Halloween Dance with DJ Marty “Mar” @ Comanche Tribal Complex, Lawton, OK
Costume Contest for Age groups:

      • 3–6 – 1st $75, 2nd $50, 3rd $25
        7–12 – 1st $100, 2nd $75, 3rd $50
        13–18 – 1st $200, 2nd $100, 3rd $75
        19+ – 1st $100, 2nd $75, 3rd $50
      All monetary prizes will be in the form of Wal-Mart gift cards.

November 7th
– IAMNDN 1st Annual Powwow @ Watchetaker Hall Comanche Tribal Complex, Lawton, OK

December 31st – New Year’s Eve Sobriety Bash 8 – Midnight @ Great Plains Coliseum, 920 SW Sheridan, Lawton, OK 73505

It sounds like IAMNDN has a lot of great opportunities and events for the youth to participate in!

For more information on any of the upcoming events or how you can have IAMNDN visit your school please contact Raquel Ramos, IAMNDN / Comanche Nation Prevention & Recovery Center 580-357-3449 office, 580-713-3936 cell or raquelr@comanchenation.com.

Make sure you connect with IAMNDN on all social media outlets too! You can find them at http://iamndn.org/, Facebook: IAMNDN, Twitter: IAMNDNCommunity.

Home » Native American Articles » Native American Culture » IAMNDN: Empowering Our Native Youth & Future Leaders

About Toyacoyah Brown

Toyacoyah Brown is an enrolled member of the Comanche Nation, currently living in Chicago. She received her B.A. in Journalism from the University of Oklahoma and an M.A. in Media Studies from the University of Texas at Austin. When she's not scouring the Internet for fun things to share with PowWows.com readers you can find her digging for vinyl in her local record store or curling up with a good book.

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