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This Is Who I Am: Coeur d’Alene Students Show Cultural Pride With Video

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An inspirational video featuring Native American youth from this year’s Leadership Development Camp shows viewers who the youth are and who they are not—mascots, savages, alcoholics, drug addicts.

A black and white silent portion of the video has students each holding up a sign saying what they are not, like “I am not a mascot,” and “I am not a savage.” The students are then seen in color and explaining what they are—beautiful, a basketball player, a dreamer, a leader, the next cultural generation.

“We’re proud of our culture and never will ever hide it,” one of the students in the video says.

The Leadership Development Camp is designed for youth ages 13 to 17 from the Coeur d’Alene Reservation. Its goal is to develop leadership skills, resiliency, and strengthen academic skills.

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The camp brings the students to the Washington State University Pullman campus for a week-long stay.

“Through participation in team building and sports activities and culturally responsive specialized academic seminars, this one-week residential camp offers students a chance to develop new skills, experience college life, and reflect upon and prepare to meet their goals for the future,” says information with the video.