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My name is Sophie Maria Tiger and I am an enrolled member of the Comanche Nation of Oklahoma. I also come from the Standing Rock Sioux Tribe. I am one of the founding members of a peer-to-peer organization started in Comanche Country, IAMNDN. This new organization is dedicated to empowering Native youth to become outstanding sons, daughters, sisters, brothers, students. employees, community members and future leaders. The future of Native people rests upon the youth; therefore, the purpose of IAMNDN is to positively impact the negative effects of underage drinking and prescription drug abuse that often plagues each and every Indian community. With this organization, I want young natives to be able to say "IAMNDN, I AM HERE, AND I AM PROUD!". The picture above is of my little relative, Corbyn J. Swift and myself at my high school demonstrating part of our culture during Native American Month. I am motivated and inspired when I look at youth like Corbyn because they need someone to look up to who is drug-free, who is thriving to change the statistics of Native people, and who is keeping their culture alive. I want to be a role model for Native youth and I want them to stand with me against the use of drugs and alcohol to better themselves and to better our Native people. This is close to my heart because I have witnessed amazing people fall under the pressure of the temptations and throw away their lives. We are in power of our destiny and I want youth like Corbyn to understand that. There are many problems in our Indian communities. It will be a challenge to resolve all of these situations, but reaching our youth is one step closer to minimizing the problems in Indian Country. #IAMNDN #YouthIsOurFuture #TribalNations -Sophie
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