We’ve seen in previous blog posts the impacts that living in poverty can have on a person’s identity, ability to contribute to society and the breakdown of the fabric of a community. It is easy to focus on the needs of a community: what isn’t right, the brokenness of people and social structures, how much need, hurt, and pain people have.
That’s the approach that is usually taken on Native American Reservations today. It is easy to focus on the problems and what is wrong. But what if we looked at the Yakama Reservation differently? Sacred Road is looking at the incredible potential of Yakama children and seeking to build on that potential.
Regardless of the need, every person has talents, skills and abilities that are just waiting to find an outlet. If provided the training or opportunity, each person can be a contributor to society.
There are 3 reasons why Yakama children have incredible potential that just needs to be nurtured and protected.
Reason #1: There are many skilled artisans on the Yakama Reservation. In the midst of grinding poverty of White Swan, they have limited time, limited training, and limited resources to develop their skills. Their per capita artistic ability is high and they need a market to showcase their beadwork, jewelry, traditional clothing, and other traditional Native American artwork.
Reason #2: The kids in White Swan are smart. They are daily living through significant trauma and enormous hardship. They survive in circumstances that most would not have a clue of how to survive. Here are common characteristics of entrepreneurs: resourcefulness when difficulties arise, perseverance in the face of hardship or failure, willing to step out and take risks, and agility in making decisions and solving problems. There are entrepreneurs in training on the Yakama Reservation that just need a little help.
Reason #3: Respect for Elders is a value held by this community. The people of the Yakama Nation value maturity and wisdom and they recognize it when they see it. Unlike the general public, their respect for the elderly in their community is profound. The Elders in this community have things they can teach the younger generations.
It was God’s plan that we should work. We are not fulfilling our callings if we are not actively working and adding value to God’s world through our work and vocations. We aren’t working simply to make more for ourselves, but the goal is to participate in and contribute to the communities in which we live. With so much potential on the Yakama Reservation, an investment made in the lives of individuals to help them start their own businesses can pay huge dividends.
In a rural, low population area like the Yakama Reservation, artists have a difficult time finding potential customers. What better way to enable the Yakama to provide for themselves through the sale of authentic, handmade products via an online marketplace.
We saw these reasons and decided it was time to showcase these talents and start an online store. This is where you can participate. Please subscribe to this blog to learn more about updates and changes to this website, new products and artists and coupons to save on future purchases.