While 2016 has ended, our memories of all the laughs shared and friends embraced have stayed with us into the New Year. As a Native youth photographer, every New Year is something fresh and exciting for me. This is a time of renewal, as well as a time to start something new.
Here are some of my favorite moments from 2016, captured in pictures.
Connecting with Family
For youths, family is everything, which is why we remember time with relatives so fondly as we look back. Watching movies, fishing and camping with cousins are the types of memories that we keep with us.
Experiencing the Culture
Native youth are resilient, and continue to stay connected to their culture, either by attending cultural events or becoming involved in youth councils. We continue to be grateful for our elders and those who have gone before us that have created a path to experience our culture.
Meeting New People
Admit it. There is at least one person who came into your life this year that you struggle to imagine how life was like without them. For youths, that person could have been a classmate, or maybe a new friend you made by going outside of your comfort zonef. Regardless, they’ve managed to have an impact on you in a short amount of time.
Old Fashion Road Trip
There’s nothing like spending days in a car, listening to old radio shows like the Twilight Zone, losing your GPS signal and then the radio signal, catching breathtaking sunsets and sunrises ….it becomes not just about the destination but also the journey.
Wishing you and your loved ones a Happy New Year!
Christian Gomez is a 16-year-old member of the Tlingit Tribe located in Juneau, Alaska. He currently lives in the Washington DC area. As the youngest member of ICMN’s photographic contributor staff, he has loved to take photos as a Native youth photographer since elementary school.