Published June 12, 2019
BERNALILLO, N.M. — Hundreds of Native American youth from over 15 different tribes will attend the 23rd annual NativeVision sports and life skills camp June 13-15 in historic Bernalillo, NM. Nearly 50 former professional, Olympic, and collegiate athletes will lead basketball, football, soccer, lacrosse, and track and field training clinics and pass along lessons for healthy living and reaching educational goals.
The Johns Hopkins Center for American Indian Health and Five Sandoval Indian Pueblos will jointly welcome youthbetween the ages of 7-18 to Bernalillo, which is located 15 miles north of Albuquerque between the Sandia Mountains and the Rio Grande. Other major partners include Notah Begay III (NB3) Foundation, which will lead soccer clinics, and Ralph Lauren, whose graphic designers will be leading art workshops.
“We are thrilled to offer this opportunity to children and youth from our tribal communities,” said Nathan Mascarenas, NC Project Director of the Five Sandoval Indian Pueblos, Inc. “NativeVision offers a powerful mix of sports training, educational workshops, and mentoring to keep children on a healthy path toward success.”
NativeVision is powered by passionate, committed athlete-mentors from across the U.S., some of whom have been volunteering since the first camp in 1997. Returning to this year’s camp are four renowned indigenous men’s lacrosse coaches: David Bray (Seneca), member of the American Indian Athletic Hall of Fame and former coach for Cornell University and the Iroquois Nationals; Justin Giles, Muscogee (Creek), who played for the University of Virginia and the Iroquois Nationals; Ira Thorpe Huff, of the Tonawanda Seneca Nation; and Alf Jacques (Onondaga), a renowned traditional wooden stick maker and coach of the Onondaga Red Hawks Lacrosse. When not practicing their stick skills, campers will learn from these inspiring coaches about the Native American origins of lacrosse.
Other indigenous athletes will lead some of the basketball and track and field clinics.
NativeVision is also proud to be bringing back sports legends such as Anthuan Maybank, who won an Olympic gold medal for the men’s 4×400 meter relay, and welcome new coaches such as Kerry Jenkins, a former professional football player with the Tampa Bay Buccaneers and New York Jets.Other highlights of the three-day camp in Bernalillo, which also hosted NativeVision in 2008, include:
- Workshops led by indigenous community members on yoga and meditation, bullying prevention, mental health, and substance abuse,
- A community feast followed by the awarding of two college scholarships to Native American high school students, honoring their commitment to academics and community, and encouraging all the campers to strive for similar goals,
- An arts workshop for the younger campers, led by a delegation from Ralph Lauren,
- The NB3FIT soccer curriculum led by NB3, and
- Opening and closing ceremonies featuring indigenous singers and dangers as well as inspiring words from local tribal leaders.
Evaluations from past years show that NativeVision has an energizing effect on the motivation of children and adolescents to achieve their educational goals and pursue healthy lifestyles. For example, in surveys following last year’s camp, participating youth were more likely to say they would attend college. They also planned to exercise more and drink fewer sugar-sweetened beverages.
All food, activities, and workshops at NativeVision are free of charge for the youth, supported by charitable donations to the Johns Hopkins Center for American Indian Health. Supporters of this year’s camp include the Ellen and Michael Kullman family, the NFL Players Association, US Lacrosse, the Ralph Lauren company, Santo Domingo Pueblo, Casey Family Programs, the McCune Foundation, Presbyterian Healthcare Foundation, and many generous individual donors.
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