Community Members of the Te-Moak Tribe
Western Shoshone Active Citizens, April 2015

Active Citizens for the Western Shoshone was launched in partnership with Barrick Gold in Elko, Nevada, August 2014. 

In collaboration with Barrick Gold, the British Council brought the Active Citizens program to the Americas region starting in 2014. 

The Active Citizens program hosted week-long intensive trainings, led by master facilitators from the UK, who worked with communities all over the globe. The program built leadership capacity and project management skills, which supported grassroots community development. The Active Citizens graduates went on to start community development projects in their own communities and cascaded their learning to other tribal and community members. Ongoing professional trainings and workshops were regularly held to continue to foster a culture of learning and development in the community. 

Participants became part of an international network of Active Citizens who are learners, actors and influencers in their community, promoting international and intercultural trust and understanding. The Active Citizens program provided opportunities for participants to consider and practice their learning both locally and globally.

Student Experiences

Since its US debut in 2014, Active Citizens has trained 65 members of the Western Shoshone tribes in and around Elko, including Te-Moak, Duckwater, Ely, Yomba and in the Shoshone Paiute Tribes of Duck Valley. Active Citizens empowers participants to spearhead community-led development by teaching them leadership and project management skills to build trust and understanding and create sustainable development in their communities

Visit our YouTube channel to view videos that showcase the voices and passion of the young people of the community, who participated in Active Citizens training as part of their participation in the Barrick Summer Internship Program.  

Social Action Projects

Throughout the Elko Active Citizens program, community members were encouraged to create social action projects to tackle difficult issues. See below for two examples of social action projects. 

Forum Theatre: From acting to action

THE ISSUE

Young people are the future of a community, but can also be the most vulnerable individuals in society. All young people face stress and anxiety in their lives. Native youth can be particularly challenged due to lack of access and opportunity education and employment. Active Citizens wanted to organize a training specifically for the youth in their community, to explore themes of bullying and anger, both within the classroom and in the workplace. 

THE SOCIAL ACTION 

In November 2015, local Active Citizens identified and connected strongly with one aspect of the Active Citizen's learning journey - the practice of Forum Theatre. 

Forum Theatre is a type of theatre game in which participants learn to explore different topics in scenes. The subjects and storylines originate from real experiences of the community members, developed during a series of workshops and rehearsals.  The final performance serves as a rehearsal for real life, where participants can showcase and develop tactics they’ve developed to fight the challenges and oppression they face.

Participants across generations gathered together for two days to explore issues through games and performance and developed a final performance piece which included two stories. The first story addressed a lack of access to emergency medical services. The second story addressed challenging family dynamics and cultural norms. During the training, participants discussed identity, their communities and the role they can play in making a difference by learning problem-solving and conflict resolution skills.

Learn more about this social action project on our YouTube channel

Healthy eating in Duck Valley

THE ISSUE

Healthy food is essential to building strong and healthy communities. Within Native American populations, the incidence of obesity is over 30% and type 2 diabetes is near 16%. Over generations, tribal communities have shared valuable wisdom on how to use resources such as the land, native plants and animals in order to sustain communities. However many modern tribes experience extreme poverty and lack access to traditional food sources through displacement and loss of traditional knowledge.

Today, an international movement for healthy and sustainable food is a priority for many Native American communities, including Active Citizens in Owyhee, Nevada. 

THE SOCIAL ACTION

The Duck Valley Indian Reservation is situated in a beautiful, green valley on the Nevada and Idaho border. Established in 1877, the site for this reservation was selected by a Shoshone leader for its abundant water and fertile valley soil, which held a promising future for the Shoshone Paiute people.

Since 2011, community members have been working together to build hoop houses across the valley, in partnership with University of Nevada Cooperative Extension programs and the US Department of Agriculture’s National Institute of Food and Agriculture. Organized under the name 'Duck Valley Garden Growers', they provide training to families on how to construct their own hoop houses and are in the process of planning a local farmers market for future growing seasons. 

Learn more about this social action project on our YouTube channel.

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