Crystal, a member of the Kitkehaki Band of the Pawnee Nation, works hard to give Native youth hope and opportunity. The Pawnee Nation alone has a 40% unemployment rate and roughly 40% of the population lives below the poverty line.
“You have to show the kids that just because they grew up on a reservation or grew up poor doesn’t mean they cannot pursue their own passions,” Crystal says. “We have to make this investment in our youth now or we will lose who we are.”
Sol and Casey check out the launch of the NVision tour before it travels to Native reservations and cities with urban Native populations. The tour includes workshops, concerts and promoting the message of the importance of leadership, empowerment and cultural pride.
Sol and Casey also witness the challenges of reservation life that are often invisible to mainstream society. They are inspired not only by NVision’s passionate effort to combat despair but by the overall pride and resilience of the Pawnee community.
”The moment I was most moved was when they did that ceremony to welcome me and Sol,” Casey says. “I was just floored. It wasn’t like anything I had expected or had ever experienced before.”
You can see more 4Real Pawnee videos on YouTube. For more on the subject in general, see Native Documentaries and News.