4 Directions: Help the People, Help the Tribe
In supporting long-term gains for tribal communities, a key initiative offered by Partnership With Native Americans (PWNA) is our 4 Directions Development training (4D). Through 4D, we are building capacity among grassroots leaders who want to make a greater contribution to their tribal communities. We developed this training as a direct result of feedback from our reservation program partners, and here’s what one participant has to say about it:
“As a participant of the first Southwest cohort of the 4 Directions leadership development program provided by Partnership with Native Americans, I was able to learn and apply various skills needed to work with the people on the reservation.
For instance, I learned that, in order for people to work together, there must be a positive atmosphere and everyone must have a purpose in the project. I also had the opportunity to become aware of issues that take place on the reservation. One that stood out was “lateral violence,” which is the hurt and manipulation that people do to one another within a community for personal gain. Lateral violence exists on the reservation and is not tolerated in most work places in San Carlos.
I learned a lot from Vicki, my cohort “Key” (mentor), a leader within her own community and someone who knows what it’s like to work for the people. Vicki was able to coach me though developing a small after-school program within my community. Her approach and insight was invaluable, and my organizational skills and thinking have improved noticeably thanks to her techniques.
Using what I learned through 4D and Vicki, I was able to co-organize a new and active community group, “The Ni’gosdza’n Project” (TNP) on the San Carlos Apache Reservation. The project’s purpose is to provide the community with the education and information to live a sustainable lifestyle. While living in this digital world, TNP is about reconnecting the people to the land.
Through TNP, we are currently working after school with students from the Twin Mesquite Community. They are learning about recycling, zero waste, gardening and healthy physical activities, which is the Apache Way of Life.
The skills I discovered and strengthened in 4D helped make the TNP program possible and are impacting the youth in my community. Thanks, PWNA!”
— Christy Sangster-Begay
In 2015, 42 people actively participated in 4D, each one identifying and achieving both personal and professional development goals. We wish Christy and our other 4D grads great success in applying their new skills to future endeavors!