Oklahoma Organization Educates Native Youth on Substance use with help from Passionate Dancer
July 25, 2023
Monday, July 24th 2023, 11:41 am
By: Jordan Dafnis
OKLAHOMA CITY –
A local organization is on a mission to make sure Native youth know the facts about substance use.
Tracy Tanyan is one of the students that’s helping to educate others. His passion: dance.
“When I am out there, and I partake it is like I am dancing for the people, and it brings a feeling that I cannot even describe myself. It is like I am dancing on the clouds,” Tanyan said.
When things are off, dancing is where he finds his grounding.
“Drugs and alcohol aren’t the way to cope. From dancing to singing there are other ways to cope,” Tanyan said.
He is helping young Natives learn substance use is not the way to go.
“The Oklahoma City Indian Clinic I was a youth basketball coach, and they keep asking me to be a volunteer and I am very grateful for that opportunity to be around those kids,” Tanyan said.
Tanyan is now taking part in the Association of American Indian Physicians (AAIP) Say Yes campaign.
The advisor of the AAIP, Melanie Johnson, said the program is about spreading a message.
“The Say Yes campaign is really looking to our Native youth and saying it’s ok if you want to play basketball, it is ok if you want to be in the powwow arena, it’s ok if you want to say yes to anything you want to do, but make sure to say no to alcohol,” Johnson said.
Through social media and grassroots efforts, they are sharing the message.
“We just want our young people to know that we are here to support you we are here to say yes to you and do these things you can be anything you want to be,” Johnson said.
“I am very proud of this new generation that is coming up. You know they just want to be part of their culture and they just want to be part of sports,” Tanyan said.
For more information, click here.