Photography Cougar Vigil. Oak Flat Campground, Like a lot of recent American high school graduates, I spend way too much time on Twitter, I'm a huge Lady Gaga fan, and I can't wait to go to college in the fall. But instead of spending my first few days of summer break going to the beach or partying with my friends, I'm in the midst of taking part in a Bear Dance, a four-day-long healing ceremony where we sing in our traditional Athabaskan language and dance in a wild, heavily wooded part of New Mexico.
what it's really like to be a native american teen today
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What's it like to be a young Native American today? In this new In the Mix special, teens from cities and reservations throughout the United States share their lives, problems and solutions. Shot around the country, the program features profiles of accomplished teens, short films made by young Native Americans, and insightful discussion with a group of young leaders. The special is hosted by Native American rap artist and film actor Litefoot Cherokee , along with Dartmouth film major Christina Douglas Shinnecock at the Mashantucket Pequot reservation in Connecticut. Litefoot appears at the celebration as part of his "Reach the Rez" tour, and in the program, viewers learn about the year-long tour's messages of hope and empowerment for Native American youth www.
Jenn Morson is a freelance writer and journalist. Follow her on Twitter. The views expressed in this commentary are her own. View more opinion on CNN.