Indigenous Students Achieving Greatness: Nakai Brock (Mayan/Apache)

Indigenous Students Achieving Greatness: Nakai Brock (Mayan/Apache)

Posted By Corinne Oestreich May 28th, 2018 Blog

Nakai Brock is only in 8th grade, but this Maya/Apache young woman is already a change maker within her community. Partnered with the City of Mountain View in CA, this young student is working on solutions for members of her community who are dealing with being homeless due to increasing costs of living. While many 8th graders seem focused on their SnapChat accounts and the drama at school, Nakai is focused on greater concerns that affect the people around her.

Nakai was selected for a Fellowship by the non-profit Soulforce Leadership, which is a part of the Harvard University Network of Adaptive Leadership and Peacemaking,
She applied and was interviewed and selected based upon her previous service and leadership work toward social justice. One of the service projects was bringing awareness about Standing Rock at community table within a Spiritual Center/Church, where information about authoritative Native News sources and other media sources were provided, as well as collecting clothes and signatures.

“Last summer I went to Louisianna to help build houses after the hurricanes, seeing the reactions that I got from fixing something as small but as needed like water in the house caused me to realize that I’d like to help out more people and I saw this program as a good opportunity for that.”

Nakai is making High School plans and mentioned her school has an Amnesty International club which sparks some interest in her, but her main goal is to work in journalism. Being a youth witnessing the atrocities at Standing Rock, she feels a pull to be able to document the truths of whats happening in the world.

“It’s important for Indigenous peoples to become active change makers because a lot of people don’t recognize our struggles, or that we even exist. By documenting through the perspective of an Indigenous person, we let (the world) know that we ARE still here and can give a new way to look at things.”

About Corinne Oestreich

Corinne Oestreich (Mohawk/Lakota) has been a writer with powwows.com since 2014. She lives in the state of CA, and enjoys attending and photographing many of the Northern CA powwows and events. She owns her own photography business and is also a Fellow with Changemaker Initiative in partnership with Ashoka.



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