UNITY 25 Under 25 attends Dreamstarter Academy in Washington DC
Congrats to Freddy Gipp, 25, Apache Tribe of Oklahoma, for being named a Dreamstarter! Olympic Gold medalist Billy Mill’s Running Strong for American Indian Youth organization provides grants to community non-profits who will mentor young Dreamstarters and work with them to implement a project inspired by the young person’s dream for her or his community. This year UNITY will work closely with Dreamstarter Freddy Gipp to help turn his dream into a reality.
Freddy and his mentor, UNITY Staff member LorenAshley Buford attended an orientation training along with the other awardees in Washington DC this month. “One of the most inspiring things about the Dreamstarter Academy is having the opportunity to meet like-minded individuals with similar goals, aspirations and ideas for working on how we can better support our communities in every capacity. I was constantly moved by every ones passion, determination and commitment to their Dream” said Gipp.
Freddy’s dream “Powwow+” is a program of his business, Lead Horse LLC, and an opportunity for communities to engage in new and innovative cultural programing by encouraging communities to host powwow celebrations. This, Freddy says, will help develop consistent revenue streams through cultural tourism.
He used the Native American Tourism and Improving Visitors Experience Act (NATIVE) and the Native American Business Incubators Program Act (NABIP) to design a business model that can support new and innovative capacity building efforts for remote, rural and urban tribal communities.
“There is not a better place to enact this pilot program than Lawrence, Kansas,” says Freddy. “I believe our community has the infrastructure in place that can substantially benefit Native American and other minority groups.”
The Dream as a Solution
“I want this business model to jumpstart economic activity in remote, rural and urban tribal communities,” says Freddy. “I want to reach tribal leaders and administrative workers, families, children, non-Natives, small business owners, artists, powwow dancers, students, advocates, local and state government officials, and executive directors of nonprofits.”
Freddy explained his model uses the basic principles of event planning and increases the overall economic and social impact of their events. While he acknowledges “other event planners exist,” he notes that “nobody is looking at using powwows as the platform for incubation, growth and development.
“I believe powwows are the key in making this possible because this was the missing piece in establishing Lawrence as a destination driver for other Native Americans.”