Plan of Action
The main purpose of Maza Tipi Oyate is to save children and youth from becoming the future prisoners and forever labeled by society. The other day, while I was reading in my cell, I came across a statistic that shocked me back into action. 4 out of 6 Native American males will have contact with the criminal justice system in their lifetime. The reality for Native men is that they will probably see the penitentiary someday.
1. Provide Native youth with incentives by rewarding them with gift cards, school supplies, and other much needed items for good school grades, good school attendance, learning Native Cultures, history and Native languages.
2. Locating Native mentors within our communities to form bonds, teach life-skills, and to keep youth motivated to strive for a better tomorrow. The mentor can keep in touch through social media for conversation and progress reviews. And, if possible, help youth organize community events focused on the positive, community bonding, and parental involvement with these events. Native American Peoples have always been a community based people.
3. Maza Tipi Oyate will locate speakers from educators, artisans, music producers, politicians, lawyers, and motivational speakers to go to speak to youth about the importance of life, how knowing who you are is very vital, and how education is a key to a better future. In the beginning of each presentation a short film will be shown by Maza Tipi Oyate of the founder who has been incarcerated since he was a youth, and how substance abuse, school dropout, and the lack of support had a negative impact on his life. He will also share his experience while incarcerated for all these years. He firmly believes Native youth are the future, and should not be another prisoner in the system.
4. Give youth the motivation and self-empowerment to create community based platforms to help the elders, younger children, and delving deeper in culture, history, and language. This will give our youth a sense of belonging lacking amongst our people, and status that will motivate them for larger visions.
5. Keep local, state, and the federal governments updated on the progress and give progress reviews. This will show the importance of prevention initiatives, and keep prevention a priority because prevention is key for a better tomorrow!