Seventh Generation: The Voice and Leadership of Indigenous Youth

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EcoJustice RadioEcoJustice Radio spoke with emboldened and empowered youth activists, Alexis (Lex) Saenz and Yulu Wek of the International Indigenous Youth Council. Listen to their stories of reclaiming and living into their cultural identities, empowering community, preparing for non-violent direct action, engaging in artivism, fulfilling the 7 Demands for 7 Generations, modeling circular leadership, prayerfully serving Mother Earth, and training up youth to potentiate themselves for the benefit of the collective’s highest good.

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International Indigenous Youth Council

In 2016, the Standing Rock Indigenous Uprising galvanized numerous Indigenous youth to protect their cultural lifeways, sacred lands and waters. Founded at Standing Rock by womxn and two-spirit peoples, The International Indigenous Youth Council (IIYC) empowers Indigenous youth to lead within their communities, prayerfully protect their heritage, incite social justice and effect global change for a better world.

STORY: The Call to Decolonize: Thoughts, Actions, and Spaces

Alexis Saenz is a mixed raced womxn, Indigenous and European. Although not sure of her direct Nations, she has been adopted to the Indigenous communities in the Diné and Oglala Lakota Sioux Nations. She organizes with the International Indigenous Youth Council LA Chapter as the chapter representative, fighting for Indigenous land sovereignty and climate justice. She also is Project Manager for March On Foundation and volunteers for the EmBrase Foundation.

Yulu Wek (they/them) is Nawakuskatanchanej, Lenca, and Galician and core organizer with the International Indigenous Youth Council LA Chapter. With mixed roots, Yulu has dedicated their lifetime to repairing interpersonal and collective relationships through understanding intergenerational trauma. Their work within IIYC LA includes facilitating talking circles, co-organizing cultural, educational, and art-based events as well as graphic design.

Resources/Articles:
IIYC roots – ABC Doc Standing Rock: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1Rz_TkpysKk&feature=emb_logo

Resource List: https://docs.google.com/document/d/1cXD4LlOHpYj6_Nfcdeq3gJ9N7zLFUrURkuYGrkQIFl4/edit

4 Directions Climate strike coverage – Indian Country Today – https://indiancountrytoday.com/news/indigenous-youth-council-s-four-directions-climate-strike-begU1BJ45Ey5fPUrZxNa7Q

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Indigenous Youth on EcoJustice Radio

Interview by Carry Kim
Intro by Jessica Aldridge
Engineer: Blake Lampkin
Executive Producer: Jack Eidt
Show Created by Mark and JP Morris
Music: Javier Kadry
Episode 87
Photo courtesy IIYC SoCal

Updated 19 January 2021

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About Jack Eidt

Novelist, urban theorist and designer, and environmental journalist, Jack Eidt careens down human-nature's all consuming one-way highway to its inevitable conclusion -- Wilder Utopia. He co-founded Wild Heritage Partners, based out of Los Angeles, California. He can be reached at jack (dot) eidt (at) wilderutopia (dot) com. Follow him on Twitter @WilderUtopia and @JackEidt