Tuesday, September 19, 2017 This Week's Paper
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Inspiration can be defined in many ways – an action or influence. It can also be described as an activity, a person, or divine intervention, or writings.
I was truly inspired watching my daughter’s last basketball game. It caused me to pause and think of now it is her last year in high school and the last of my children to graduate.
What, as a parent, could I do to help inspire my daughter and what were her wants and needs? What is her futuristic outlook on life? Was it college, employment? What kind of job or higher education would she like to pursue?
I would like to have the our school set a program for college development and a course study outline to help graduating students prepare for college or university. The idea of college isn’t necessarily more difficult classes, instructors, etc… That is an obvious set of circumstances.
College really is a life test. There is no one to make your meals or do your laundry or help you facilitate any of the daily things in life…in addition to your study programs.
As a Tribe we should also think outside the box. If it “takes a village to raise a child,” then let’s do just that. Provide internship programs for tribal young adults, or all adults if they so desire, and an economic stimulus package that would provide business skills or entrepreneurial ideas and goal oriented success for business.
My brother gave a lecture at a native youth conference; the conference was titled NATIVE YOUTH EMPOWERMENT. He asked the student body, “What does that mean, Native youth empowerment? Does it mean let’s all vote or let’s all get some money. What does that statement mean?” It means nothing if we as a people don’t have the ideas to inspire our young people with a successful future, be it through higher education or through business and economic redevelopment facilitated by our Tribe.
I have been inspired by my relatives, my elders, friends, and my reading and studying of past leaders who sacrifice themselves for the betterment of all our people. I am truly inspired by the community involvement in our traditional ceremonies and songs that have come back to fruition, the canoe journey that has spread over our beautiful waterways and connected us back to the water and to our relatives. If our Tribe can invest and develop casino gaming, enhanced fisheries and a marina, we can surely inspire programs for our young people to help them achieve successful lives.

All My Relations,
James Rideout

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