California Indian Education Act AB1703

We need you to take action and support the California Indian Education Act AB1703.
This bill would establish the California Indian Education Act and encourage school districts, county offices of education, and charter schools to form California Indian Education Task Forces with California tribes local to their regions or tribes historically located in the region….

Native Youth for Justice Los Angeles

Native Youth for Justice – Los Angeles invites Native American youth ages 16-25 to attend the kickoff to our 2022 monthly meetings on Mar 9, 2022, at 04:30 PM. Native Youth for Justice’s mission is to create a Native youth leadership group focused on power and justice through youth organizing and civic participation.

This is your opportunity to get introduced to our team and discover ways to work with us to create sustainable community and civic change. We will also be joined by special guest speakers from the Brothers Sons Selves Coalition.

Real Covid Talk

Please join us in a virtual community forum featuring Doctor Sophie Neuner, Karuk Tribe, Research Associate at the Johns Hopkins Center for American Indian Health…. Read more 

Children’s Authors and Illustrators week

In observance of Children’s Authors and Illustrators week 2022, the California Native Vote Project would like to provide a list of children’s books written with Native American ideas, stories, and values or by Native American authors. Have you ever looked for a children’s book with Native American themes or stories? Do you know a great book not listed here? Let us know.

Young Water Protectors is a rare story about standing together to fight a company exploiting people and hurting the earth’s resources. This unique period of activism with Native people from many nations is a great visual story about a real-life adventure to stand against giants. 
Order link 

This engaging retelling of the Southern Sierra Miwok legend features the great Yosemite Valley monolith, El Capitan, and how it came to be. Includes notes about the life and culture of the Southern Sierra Miwok and a bibliography.
Order link 

This heartwarming story based on the author’s own life experience teaches young readers the value of hard work, helping, and caring–even when the thing you are caring for does not love you back.

Order link 

Isolated, cold, and scared, Zoo Sap cries, and his cries lure the forest animals. Beginning with beaver and ending with the great bald eagle, the creatures rush to guard the babe and harbor him from the chill until his father returns for him.

Order link

Two unique stories about two Native high school girls not fitting in and attempting to make sense of Indigenous heritage/ancestry when something has disrupted their position in a Native community.

Order link 

The next L.A. Director of Children and Family Services

Please join an approaching town hall hosted to help shape the recruitment procedure for Los Angeles County’s next Director of the Department of Children and Family Services. This is a crucial point in our child welfare system, the biggest in the nation, and furnishing feedback on who heads the Department is a significant way the community can contribute.

 

Meeting date(s), time(s) and call-in meeting links:

 

Centering Voices in Mental Health Event

The LA County Board of Supervisors and Youth Commission will be hosting “Centering Voices in Mental Health” as an online event Thursday, February 10th, 2022, from 6 PM-7 PM PST.

Symptoms of depression and anxiety have doubled over the past two years for youth in this county since the pandemic. Community members, youth, agency partners, and community-based organizations would like to learn more about how to center lived experience and voices of youth while responding to mental health crises hitting youth in L.A. County.

Co-Sponsored by Fourth District Supervisor Janice Hahn’s office, this event is in response to a 2004 Board Motion and is designed to center the voices of young people with lived experience, who are all too often left out of the design of programs meant to support them.

“It is imperative that when we consider a path forward in helping LA County’s youth recover from the pandemic, we include them in building solutions. By convening mental health leaders and advocates, the Youth Commission is helping return authority to LA County’s youth in healing their communities.” said Hahn.

“The Department of Mental Health is deeply committed to the wellbeing of youth in LA County” said DMH Director Dr. Jonathan Sherin, M.D., Ph.D. “We are thrilled to partner with the Youth Commission, which is positioned to help amplify the voices of young people who have never had a proper platform for providing input to County systems. It is our belief that the Youth Commission will inspire new and more effective models of mental health care for young people in LA County.”

To RSVP for the event, please click here.

You can also RSVP by calling +1213-633-5599
or emailing youthcommission@bos.lacounty.gov

For more information, please click here.

A YEAR IN REVIEW

Our Mission

As we look back at 2021 and the many challenges Indian Country faced, it’s important that we recognize and celebrate the resilience of our communities. This year, the COVID-19 pandemic continued to impact our communities, but our team remained committed to the mission of our organization: to create justice and self-determination for Native Communities through multigenerational power building, organizing, and civic engagement.

We showed up for each other this year unlike ever before and we will continue to show up for one another in 2022. 

With the support of our community, including our incredible volunteers, take a look at what we accomplished this past year: [/vc_column_text]

COVID-19 Response

Going into the second year of COVID-19, CNVP was able to partner with a network of Native American community-based organizations. This led to our ability to provide a number of activities and resources for our communities such as a series of virtual COVID-19 town halls with trusted, Native medical professionals; vaccination pop-ups across Los Angeles; and distributing personal protective equipment (PPE) throughout the state. Through our virtual and in-person events, we created a safe space for our community members to ask questions and bring their concerns regarding the virus, and how to keep their loved ones safe.

One example is the  “Protect Our Elders” virtual event, where we heard testimonials from youth and elders on how the pandemic affected their families and why it’s important to get vaccinated to protect our most vulnerable community members. All of our virtual events were created with the intention of centering community voices and inviting trusted healthcare providers to keep us up to date on the ever-changing virus. 

COVID Vaccination Phone Bank

Through our partnership with California Calls, CNVP hired 10 canvassers to make phone calls to our Native American constituents to help them secure vaccine appointments, as well as address any questions or concerns they had about the vaccines. Through our efforts, the team made 15,688 calls, secured 3,554 new contacts who opted to stay connected with us, and secured 89 vaccination appointments for Native American

Back to School Drive-Thru

CNVP hosted a drive-thru event to make sure Native children were supported with back-to-school supplies and protective equipmentas they returned to in-person learning in the fall. More than 200 backpacks were distributed and a dozen vaccines were administered.

CA Special Election Native Town Hall

One of the most powerful ways we can build Native power for the long haul is to make our voices heard at the ballot box. During the CA special election, CNVP provided plenty of opportunities for our community to get involved. We hosted weekly phone banks, text banks, and friend banks to reach out to our constituents, and friends and family to make sure they knew about the recall election. These methods of outreach have proven to be one of the most effective ways to make sure our community was informed and got-out-the-vote, since they were hearing directly from people they knew and trusted. We also hosted informational town halls to talk about the importance of elections and the impact this election would have on Native peoples across California.

COVID-19 Support Groups & Talking Circles

While many of our community members benefitted from our informational town halls, we knew many were apart from their relatives and struggling with the stress, anxiety and mental health challenges that came with COVID-19. CNVP provided mental health supports to its constituent base in the form of a hosted support group facilitated by CNVP partners, Indigenous Circle of Wellness. CNVP also hosted a talking circle that included more than 40 participants on a bi-weekly basis over a 5-month period. CNVP’s youth groups, Native Youth for Justice LA and Nor-Cal Native Youth for Justice also hosted a number of youth COVID-19 events, including informational webinars, a youth-led podcast episode, and other traditional cultural workshops for youth to address COVID-19 related youth mental health supports. 

LAUSD Approves $10 Million Towards Indigenous Student Achievement Initiative 

As a member of the Indigenous Education Now (IEN) Coalition, CNVP worked with partners, student,s and parents to mobilize community members to leave nearly 100 voicemail messages to the district hotline, send dozens of emails to the board offices, garnered more than 1,000 petition signatures in support of Indigenous Student Achievement initiative, and provided public testimony at the Los Angeles Unified School District (LAUSD) Board Meeting. The campaign was successful. 

On Tuesday, June 22, 2021, the LAUSD Board of Education unanimously voted to dedicate $10 million to support Indigenous Student Achievement. The intent of the initiative is to bring much-needed academic, health, and mental health relief for Native and Indigenous students that have experienced enormous hardships due to the pandemic. 

 Pictured above are IEN Coalition members who stood in solidarity with LA Students Deserve at a rally at the LAUSD headquarters. 

2nd Annual Indigenous Youth Organizing Academy

In 2021, CNVP hosted the 2nd Annual Indigenous Youth Organizing Academy, with more than 100 Native and Indigenous youth in attendance from across the state. The vision behind this academy stems from a critical need to provide Native youth with a space to develop critical analysis and understanding of the socio-political and economic landscape within the colonial borders of the U.S. and the Western Hemisphere, and to use that analysis to build community organizing skills to leads to taking action in their communities. In addition, the program is designed to empower Native youth to step into leadership roles in their own communities. 

We the Resilient Report Release  

In partnership with Advancement Project California (APCA) and California Consortium for Urban Indian Health (CCUIH), CNVP released the We The Resilient Report, a crucial report that highlights the strengths and challenges experienced by American Indians and Alaska Natives across California. We the Resilient illustrates the critical need for visibility and representation of Native people and voices. While gaps in information remain, We the Resilient provides a discussion point for many socio-economic factors that impact the health and wellness of AIANs in California. Quantitative data is only one aspect of understanding AIANs in California; another critical piece is understanding AIAN communities themselves, how we define power, and what is most important for us to build strong futures. This report carefully weaves together quantitative and qualitative data to create a more robust snapshot of AIANs in California. Together, we are determined to continue to hold on to our way of life and relations to each other and the earth and reject imposed traditions by a capitalist society. 

Download the report here: https://canativevote.org/what-we-do/research/

IEN Mural Unveiling

This year, CNVP Youth Organizers, partners, and student base came together to conceptualize and create a mural representation of the youth’s vision of the Indigenous Education Now campaign. Over a four-month period of time, youth worked closely with Joe Galarza, a long-time muralist and well-known artist, musician, and leader in the Native community to come up with the concept and to paint the mural. The vision behind the art piece was deeply rooted in the vision and values of the students and the Indigenous Education Now Campaign. Through this cultural strategy, the youth depicted a future where Native students are grounded in their culture, self-determine their educational experiences, and utilize their education as a form of resistance to oppression as well as a vehicle to liberation. The mural will be circulated through local community-based organizations to continue to build awareness and support of the youth’s vision.

Native Power Building Summit

In 2021, CNVP hosted its first annual Native American Power Building Summit, which sought to build relationships amongst organizers across the state, deepen understanding of integrated voter engagement and organizing, gather input on 2022 statewide campaigns, and provide opportunities to get involved in CNVP. 

Keynote speakers Assemblymember James Ramos and Councilwoman Kellie Carillo spoke about building Native political power across the state, and the critical importance of recruiting and electing more Native American elected officials. Participants had the opportunity to build and deepen relationships with one another, as well as learn about key community and policy issues impacting American Indian/Alaska Native communities. The summit closed with participants taking collective action by driving calls into the Riverside School District over the racist incident involving a high school math teacher, and commitments to join the movement in 2022. 

Our Team Is Growing: 

Our team at the California Native Vote Project remains focused on working towards justice and self-determination for Native American communities through multigenerational power building, organizing, and civic engagement. We are working towards a vision of healthy, powerful, and culturally-thriving Native communities across California and in order to accomplish this, we expanded our team. We were so happy to welcome Joey Williams (Paiute-Shoshone (Kawaiisu) & ChicanX) as Director of Organizing, Liam Walsh (Rincon Luiseño) as Statewide Outreach Manager, and Damian Riley (Miwuk) as Communications Manager. We have been thrilled to have them join our growing team!

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