|March 6, 2014
Chance Rush and Emcee One encourage youth make good choices
By Lailani Upham
Rush explains the qualities to look for in a mate should be something sustainable and to look at who they are and not just the material aspect of a person. On the board he had an example of a college girl with a list of car, clothes, money and smelling good as her list of qualities. Rush said those can be taken away or disappear from a person; however, faith, culture and education can’t. (Lailani Upham photo)
PABLO — Over the weekend over 600 young people had the opportunity to be inspired and entertained through One Chance Leadership, a Native-owned consulting business that mentors Native youth with success building tools through speaking seminars, comedy shows and music.
Chance Rush, Public Speaker and National Youth Conference Facilitator and Marcus Guinn (Emcee One), recording artist and Youth Advocate from Oklahoma hit the crowds at Kicking Horse Job Corps, Two Eagle River School, Salish Kootenai College and the Elmo community with inspirational messages, jokes and music this past weekend.
Emcee One (Marcus) demonstrates the way some couples show their overboard attachment or he means attraction to each other. (Lailani Upham photo)
Rush, a Hidatsa tribal member, and Dakota, Arapaho, Otoe and Oneida descendent, and husband and father says he finds it very important to be consistent and believes that is where strength and change begins.
He travels all over the country determined in his heart to reach Native youth to make healthy and valuable decisions. His message is for strength of family, community, education and culture.
As a father, Rush speaks to groups of youth reminding them of their worth and value. At Two Eagle River School the groups were broken down into first the guys and then the girls; the message was basically the same.
Chance takes a chance at cracking some Native relationship jokes at the school assembly for the girls at Two Eagle River School and cracks them up. (Lailani Upham photo)
He told the girls that there is a beautiful thing about being a woman, and to know they should be treated as such. He stressed the fact that a woman should never allow a man to put his hands on them and that they deserved a partner that will work hard for them and work at winning their love and loyalty.
He reminded both genders to walk with dignity and to hold on to standards in their relationships.
Guinn, Osage, Potawantami and Puerto Rican, and husband, says his passion is hip-hop music but later in life found that his true passion is what he calls, “eyebrow crunches.” He describes it as, “When that kid in the back of the hall, put his eye brows together and you can literally see the light bulb flickering on the inside, and says, ‘I’ve never thought of that before.’”
A “Don’t Meth Around My Rez!” drawing hangs behind the speakers as a simple message to take the road to sobriety that leads to support, friends, and a future. The other direction, leads to “No where.” (Lailani Upham photo)
Guinn says his idea it not so much tell kids what to think, but rather how to think.
“The goal is for the youth to walk out with the necessary data to begin a life change and to make better choices. I use my hip-hop experience to relate. The fact I’ve met and/or recorded with people they may know, games the ‘right to speak’ in their eyes.”
The drive to bring the motivational team to Flathead was the need to reach an age group that oftentimes gets overlooked, the college age-group ranging from 18 to 24, says Pearl Yellowman Caye, Confederated Salish and Kootenai Tribal Health Youth and Wellness Coordinator.
Pearl Yellowman Caye, CSKT Tribal Health Youth and Wellness Coordinator speaks to the entire TERS student body on healthy choices. Yellowman-Caye arranged the speakers to motivate at as many locations on the Rez while they were here for the AIHEC Basketball Tournament at Salish Kootenai College. (Lailani Upham photo)
The hosting for the community events were in partnership with SKC and Tribal Health, and funding from the Tribal Behavioral Health Methamphetamine and Suicide Prevention Initiative (MSPI), is a national pilot project focused on addressing two of the most pressing public health concerns in Native communites: meth and suicide.
One of the messages Yellowman Caye says she feels strongly in getting young people to understand it so be help to their peers. She tells youth groups that is they know of anyone that is talking or thinking about hurting themselves, “to treat it like an emergency; care for the individual immediately,” she says.