“Native Americans represent just one per cent of the US population and some languages have only one speaker left. Now a new generation is fighting to preserve the culture.” In an excellent piece in Marie Claire magazine, you can meet a few of the women leading that fight, including 22-year-old Sage Honga, pictured here, who wants to encourage young people to leave the reservation, get an education, and then return home to make a difference in the community: “My tribe, the Hualapai people, is so small that I want to be a role model to show my community and youth that it is possible to come off our land and do big things.”
Another woman featured, 30-year-old Evereta Thinn, a member of the Diné or Navajo tribe, aspires to open a language and cultural immersion school for young people. She explains, “Knowing who you are as a Native, know the teachings from your elders and engraining them as you go out into the modern world is how you maintain that balance… once the language fades, the culture will slowly start to go too. If the younger generations cannot speak the language, how will they be equipped to make decisions on policies and protect our tribes in the future?”
You can read more about Sage, Evereta, and other Native American women fighting to preserve their culture on Marie Claire here.