Educators are innovators.
Good things are happening and more people are becoming more aware and want to be a part of a positive change for the Indigenous children and youth. The children and youth of today can break cycles and choose their own paths creating healing, wellness and growth. With proper guidance and teachings the children and youth will become more mindful leaders and Yesalihuni "they will teach you".
Yotuni in the Oneida language means "its growing". We are First Nation People who have faced various challenges in life, have come together to share our truth, gifts and knowledge that we have gained walking our paths. Through our Indigenous culture, ways and professionalism we are committed to helping children, youth and their families from all walks of life.
Our children, youth and people are hurting. We are all strong Indigenous people with heart, but lost, wounded and confused and searching for knowledge, support and structure. We have been deeply disconnected to who we are as People as well as from our teachings, traditions, language, grass-roots, and ways of knowing. We are weak in our minds, bodies and Spirits and struggle with battles within ourselves and in our relationships, social groups, schools, communities, the criminal justice system, with our own people, and every where else. We are constantly at battle with love, anger, abuse, injustice, corruption, fear, suicide and addictions to alcohol, drugs, pills, sex, money and so much more. Our people carry a heavy truth and we don't belong, nor fit in to this society. We struggle with understanding and communicating with this society and when we reach out for help we walk away feeling judged, intimidated and more frustrated, abused, confused, lost and stuck. This is the truth of our past and present but does not have to be the truth of our future.
Yotuni Charitable Initiative has a strong foundation and is about empowerment of the self, mind, body and the Spirit. It is what is needed in our Indigenous Communities. We are a team of leaders, social innovators and allies who have heart, a strong passion for helping and truly understand the pain, struggle, and anger and have changed our truth or perspectives. Together we have many skills, life experiences, and knowledge to share. We are the children and youth of yesterday and we are here to help empower the children and youth of today with the knowledge that we gained from our own life struggles, experiences, and teachings. Yotuni is a gift I created for the children and youth of today and with guidance of their peers, mentors and teachers they will build it into their own and leading it on their own. Yotuni Yesalihuni, its growing, they will teach you. —
Amanda L. Kennedy
Project Director, Yotuni Charitable Initiative