By ROBER JUMPER
ONE FEATHER EDITOR
As this election season continues, I believe it is important to educate and provide a venue for young people to participate and voice their opinions. In many cases, young people possess the innocence and straight forward mentality to express unbiased wisdom concerning candidates and issues.
It has been said before. Children are the future of our Tribe. Part of protecting and preserving the future is to nurture and train the generation behind us. We need informed children that grow up to be inquisitive and informed adults.
Start by including your children in the way you prepare to vote in elections. If your child is computer savvy, as most are these days, let them help in your candidate and issue research. They will appreciate your willingness to let them be a part of the process and also getting additional quality time with family.
Every child should understand what each branch of government is and its functionality.
As a family, include your children when you attend community club meetings and find ways to solicit participation in the meetings from the children. As you watch Tribal Council sessions, explain to your children what is going on and how it will affect their lives. When you are out and about with your child, point out the government projects and how what the actions in the government offices resulted in the development of those projects. Explain how projects and initiatives are funded. Tell your children how these decisions personally impact them.
The Junaluska Leadership Council is a great opportunity for teens to experience and be a part of tribal government. Our tribal leadership should encourage other avenues for engaging children in governmental processes and at earlier ages. They truly are the future of the Eastern Band of Cherokee Indians.