Los Angeles Native Youth Leadership Journey 2010

Quechan Veterans Memorial Eagle with Quechan President Mike Jackson

The Los Angeles Native Youth Leadership Academy (“LANYLA”) is part of a community effort to prepare the next generation of leaders for our local Los Angeles community. As sons, daughters, grandsons and granddaughters of generations who moved away from their home communities, LANYLA realize the importance of visiting our homelands, learning about present day issues, and connecting our experience in the city to the continuance of our people as a whole.

LANYLA believes this connection happens at different times for different people, but is essential to growing a healthy spiritual person, family, and community.

The Journey is a 5 day trip to select tribal nations and outside American Indian supports to learn about issues related to land, language, sovereignty, and spirituality. In addition, the Academy brings a team of mentors to work with each youth participant on developing the youth’s individual power.

The Journey is open to American Indian incoming high school sophomores to graduating high school seniors residing in Los Angeles County, though we are flexible on ages and grade status. The application is designed to get some basic information about the applicant, but grade point average and extra-curricular activities are not the only deciding factors.

LANYLA partner with native organizations in the Los Angeles that nominated native youths to attend the trip. Participating organizations American Indian Community Council (Franklin High School), United American Indian Involvement, Southern California Indian Center, SEIU 720 Native Caucus, Torres Martinez Tribal TANF, Pukúu Cultural Community Services.

LANYLA was held on June 9th -13th Pukúu sent six youth on the Los Angeles Native Youth Leadership Journey 2010.

  • Location-Quechan Nation, Cocopah Nation, Yuma Arizona
  • Partners for Trip-AICC,SCIC,UAII
  • 6 youth participated –Sabrina Ortega, Ruben Ortega, Adrian Ortega, Bruce Ortega, Aaron Ponce, Andrew Ponce

Tribal members greeted the youth at the Quechan Casino

Key Values

  • Wednesday- Respect

Quechan hosted a welcoming ceremony for our youth that was usually only done to welcome royalty of the tribe.

  • Thursday- Sovereignty

The youth met Mike Jackson President and the council of the Quechan Nation and got a tour of the Tribal Office and Education Departments. The youth had lunch with the seniors at the senior center. They sang bird songs to the elders.

  • Friday- Tradition

The youth visited the Cocopah museum. They also, met the Cocopah Chair Dale Philips, played shinny, watched peon, sang and danced with the bird singers and dancers on the reservation at their traditional housing site.

  • Saturday-Wellness

The youth sat in a Cocopah tribal meeting and a border patrol presentation. In the evening, they went bowling and played laser tag.

  • Sunday- Balance

The youth reflected on their trip and how they would balance their culture and issues of everyday life.