Native Youth Standing Strong program continues to grow - KTIV News 4 Sioux City IA: News, Weather and Sports

Native Youth Standing Strong program continues to grow

A year ago, many of these drummers had never played before. A year ago, many of these drummers had never played before.

The lessons of our ancestors teach us a lot about how far we've come, but they also remind us of what we still need to learn.

A gathering in Sioux City Tuesday is all about traditions and teaching the next generation. Drumming is a tradition centuries in the making.

And one the next generation is learning to embrace. A year ago, many of these young men had never been part of a drum group. Now, they're leading this ceremony in Sioux City.

"It's the youth, it's our generation coming. You play it forward, it's going to help out," said Rick Flute Maker.

Native Youth Standing Strong is behind this event. The two year old program came about after several Native American elders approached Juvenile Court Services. They wanted a group that would teach Native American children about their culture and other traditions.

"We're addressing the successes of our community. And we're hoping to continue with that and with our kids program," said Will Meier.

The program creates unique learning experiences.

"We went to the Wounded Knee. Last summer, and the summer before, we went to Pipestone to quarry and stuff, and we do a lot of crafts," said Hope Sek of Sioux City.

The program keeps growing, and with a crowd of more than 300 in attendance, it's gaining community support. And what would a celebration be without food?

"Dinner's a very traditional dinner. Indian tacos, wojapi, corn soup," said Meier.

It's a celebration of success, with a focus on the future.

"It just means a lot. It's definitely the start of some nice relationships being built," said Will Meier.

Tuesday's event also included a sweat lodge. That's how the group ends its meetings on the last Tuesday of every month.

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