National Museum of the American Indian Presents “Youth In Action: Indigenous Ecosystems” for Earth Day 2024

April 4, 2024
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How do Native youth activists envision a sustainable future? How are Native communities uniquely affected by climate change? This Earth Day, the Smithsonian’s National Museum of the American Indian presents Youth In Action: Indigenous Ecosystems, a conversation with Seneca Johnson (Mvskoke) and Sgaahl Siid Xyáahl Jaad (Marina Anderson [Haida/Tlingit]) moderated by Jade Begay (Tesuque Pueblo/Diné). The panelists will discuss their work to create a more equitable and sustainable future.

The conversation will take place Saturday, April 20, at 2 p.m. in the museum’s Rasmuson Theater. The event is free and open to the public; ASL interpretation will be provided.

This program is funded in part by the San Manuel Band of Mission Indians.

About the Panelists

Johnson (she/her), a 21-year-old community organizer at the nonprofit Earth Care, began her involvement with social justice and community organizing at the age of 15. In 2019, she worked with other youth and Earth Care staff to found the youth-of-color-led environmental justice organization Youth United for Climate Crisis Action (YUCCA). YUCCA’s mission is to create equitable pathways for a just transition to a livable future and to hold elected officials accountable for action on the climate crisis. Johnson is from the Mvskoke and Seminole Nations of Oklahoma and grew up in Santa Fe, New Mexico.

Jaad is from Prince of Wales Island, Alaska. She previously served as the vice chair of her tribal council and the administrator of her tribal government. She currently directs the Sustainable Southeast Partnership, an Indigenous values-led collective impact network in southeast Alaska that works to support community-led initiatives to reach a regenerative and sustainable economy that works in balance with the environment.

Begay works at the intersection of climate and environmental justice policy and Indigenous rights. Begay has worked with Indigenous-led organizations and tribes from the Amazon to the Arctic to advance Indigenous-led solutions and self-determination through advocacy campaigns, research, storytelling and narrative strategies.

About Youth In Action

Youth in Action: Conversations about Our Future is an online series hosted by the National Museum of the American Indian. These moderated panel discussions serve as a national platform to amplify the efforts of Native changemakers from across the Western Hemisphere who are engaged in civic and social justice work for Indigenous peoples.

About the Museum

In partnership with Native peoples and their allies, the National Museum of the American Indian fosters a richer shared human experience through a more informed understanding of Native peoples. The museum strives toward equity and social justice for the Native peoples of the Western Hemisphere through education, inspiration and empowerment. Through two locations, it features exhibitions and programs in New York City and the National Mall in Washington, D.C. For additional information, including hours and directions, visit Follow the museum on Facebook, Instagram, X, YouTube, LinkedIn and Pinterest.

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