The White Mountain Apache Education Department is pleased to announce the return of the Youth Conference July 20-23 at Theodore Roosevelt School on the Fort Apache Indian Reservation. This year’s conference focuses on the preservation and pride of Apache identity.
“Last year was the inaugural year for the Youth Conference, bringing together more than 1,000 youth who participated in workshops, presentations and activities. These are challenging times here on the Fort Apache Indian Reservation, however our Tribal Leaders recognize the value of investment into our Apache youth. We are excited to focus on our preservation and identity of being Apache and to provide a dynamic conference full of activities, fun, entertainment and the sharing of knowledge,” stated Harrisen DeClay, Education Director.
The 2nd Annual Apache Youth Conference will host White Mountain Apache youth ages 8-18. The Conference will host ages 8-10 on July 20, ages 11-13 on July 21 and ages 14-18 on July 22 and all ages for the Back to School Bash on July 23. The daily Conference itinerary for all age groups is as follows:
- 8 a.m. Registration
- 9 a.m. General Session w/Pearl Yellowman and Brian Frejo
- 10 a.m. Session 1
- 11 a.m. Session 2
- 12 p.m. Lunch provided by Theodore Roosevelt School
- 1:30 p.m. General Session w/Pearl Yellowman and Brian Frejo
- 2 p.m. Session 3
- 3 p.m. Session 4
- 4 p.m. Closing Session and Social Dance
Each session will consist of workshops including Apache Pride and Identity, Apache Language, Apache History and Apache Food. Throughout the day youth will rotate to different workshops and will have an opportunity to attend and participate in each workshop.
General sessions will be led by Pearl Yellowman and Brian Frejo. Yellowman is a member of the Navajo Nation. She serves as a national Native youth leadership development trainer, providing trainings in the area of Native youth wellness and leadership. Frejo is the founder of Created for Greatness, is a drug/alcohol motivational speaker, cultural activist, and youth advocate. Additionally, Frejo is an accomplished actor who has appeared in over twenty feature films and television series in his career, including “Last of the Mohicans”, “Geronimo”, “Under Siege”, and “Murder She Wrote.”
White Mountain Apache Vice Chairman Kasey Velasquez said, “The White Mountain Apache Tribe is at a critical and defining moment in our Tribe’s history and future. As Tribal Leaders we are working hard to implement solutions that result in a solid and secure future for our people. This Conference is important to my Office and our people. There is no more relevant moment in our Tribe’s existence for our youth to understand and embrace our Apache identity. These young people will inherit the foundation we create for them and will one day be our leaders. They must embrace who they are as White Mountain Apache people, and more importantly embrace the pride that comes with their tribal affiliation. Together with the Education Department we have put together an activity filled week with the intention that when the Conference is over our youth with will leave with pride and a stronger sense of Apache identity and understand their role in the future of our Tribe.”
On July 23 the Conference will host the annual Back to School Bash open to Apache youth who registered and participated in the Conference. The Back to School Bash will feature games, entertainment, lunch and special appearances by renowned pow wow artists Butch & Antone, Supaman and more.
Applications are available at Tribal Education Department, Boys & Girls Club, Cibecue District 1 Council office and in the HonDah / McNary area. For more information or to register youth, ages 8-18, please contact the White Mountain Apache Education Department at (928) 338-6080.