By James Parks
An estimated 1.3 million Native Americans currently live on reservations, and many suffer from poor health, poverty and inadequate education. Proceeds from the gala will benefit Native Vision, a nonprofit initiative that connects Native American youth with professional athlete mentors through a variety of health and education programs.
The union hopes the involvement of pro football players will help draw attention to the challenges facing many Native Americans.
Says DeMaurice Smith, executive director of the Professional Athletes:
Each June, Native Vision camps are held on one of the reservations. The three-day summer camp brings together children of all ages and professional athletes to encourage healthy lifestyles and to use sports to teach the children valuable life lessons. Since the program began in 1996, more than 10,000 children and 26,000 Native American community members have been served through the camps and other year-round programs.
Nick Lowery's Photos--Native Vision NFL Players Evening with the Stars