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Survival Skills: A look at the Survival of the First Voices Festival

Posted By PowWows.com July 21st, 2014 Last Updated on: July 21st, 2014

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by Dr. Dawn Karima, Native American Culture Editor



“It is now 2014 and we want to see more Native Americans and First Nations people in mainstream culture doing what they are passionate about,” announces Allie Young, the Co-Founder of the Survival of the First Voices Festival. “Indigenous youth ought to see the prideful work and perseverance of their people. The youth need to feel empowered, and only inspiration from role models, young and old, who look like them, can do that,” the recent college graduate reveals. Jourdan Bennett-Begaye, another Festival Co-Founder, agrees, “Survival of the First Voices Festival is the first of its kind in Indian Country and we describe it as South by Southwest in Indian Country. It's all for the youth!”

Two recent college graduates, Jourdan Bennett-Begaye and Allie Young, created the Survival of the First Voices Festival focused on creating educational and creative opportunities for Native American and First Nations youth by providing them with the necessary resources and connections to reach for a higher education and to pursue their passions. According to its founders, the entire festival will consist of speakers, workshops, a round-table discussion, music and dance performances, film screenings, a fashion show, a comedy show, an open mic night, a book signing and traditional storytelling. In addition, the founders are planning a banquet with an overall theme of social justice, reclaiming Native histories, preserving Native cultures, and increasing Native presence in mainstream culture. According to its founders, SFVF has partnered with the San Juan College Native American Center to make this event happen at the end of this summer (July 30th – August 1st) in Farmington, New Mexico.
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