The Healing Indigenous Lives Initiative (HILI) kicked off 2020 planning with a listening session in the Salt River community in Arizona on Saturday, January 18th, 2020 in partnership with the Young River Peoples Youth Council. The Healing Indigenous Lives Initiative, a partnership between UNITY and the Office of Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention (OJJDP), seeks to increase engagement with youth who have experienced trauma and bring awareness to public safety issues in Indian country. The listening session brought together over 70 Native youth from various Arizona communities with the goal of providing feedback on the proposed Healing Indigenous Lives Initiative curriculum.
Peer guides who serve as facilitators of the program, served as listening session facilitators. Peer guide, Audri Mitchell, a member of the Colorado River Indian Tribes, shares “it was great to have Native youth come and provide helpful feedback and also get them excited about our upcoming regional trainings”. The curriculum leads Native youth through the various steps of building an awareness campaign in their own community. Native youth attending the listening session were the first to see the curriculum and were able to provide critical feedback on what they would like to see from the future trainings.
Moving forward, the feedback collected during the listening session will be used to shape the future of the Healing Indigenous Lives Initiative (HILI) curriculum and prepare for future regional trainings across Indian country. The listening session provided a space for Native youth to share their voice and vision for the program. This Initiative is supported by a cooperative agreement (2018-TY-FX-K002) between UNITY, Inc. and the US Department of Justice, Office of Justice Programs, Office of Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention. . Be on the lookout for future trainings.