Today marks the launch of a project we’re really excited about – an effort over a period of months, and hopefully longer, to explore issues crucial to our state’s Native communities and people.
We use the word “explore” intentionally. We intend to avoid preaching or pretending we have answers to complex problems. Instead, we aim to learn and shine light.
There are some serious topics to tackle, including a lack of access to health care and mental health services, depression among Native youth, alcohol and drug abuse, and suicide. In addition to learning about problems, however, we’ll also explore how communities and young people are surviving and thriving. Youth activism, language revitalization, environmental restoration projects, and tribal education and health care initiatives are all topics we plan to cover.
We’ll also be looking for other stories – good, bad and otherwise. There’s much about life and culture in Native America to celebrate, and we don’t want to ignore that while we explore more difficult topics.
We’ll be traveling around the state in the coming months to visit rural communities and also learn about urban Native populations in places like Albuquerque and at New Mexico State University in Las Cruces.
We invite you to help us explore these issues. If you have something to add to the conversation, we want to hear from you. We’re looking for people to write blog posts or share their experiences in another format, such as audio or video. If you’re interested, e-mail us.
Please join us on this journey.