In a live radio interview with KUMD-FM in Duluth, Minnesota, Senior Associate and enrolled citizen of the Cherokee Nation Kelly Hallman speaks about IMAGEN – the Indigenous Adolescent Girls’ Empowerment Network – a new evidenced-based, scalable program in the United Stated designed to address the realities of excluded Native American girls and young women in the US.
Hallman relays the unique challenges that Native adolescent girls face in the United States and how the Population Council’s girl-centered programming approach is being applied domestically.
What we’ve found in a lot of different countries is that girls really fall through the cracks when it comes to programs and services. There are programs for young children, there are programs for women after they get pregnant and become mothers, but adolescent girls are really not being served well by health and empowerment and education programs, largely education support. So we’ve found that there really needs to be a concerted effort to reach girls between the ages of 10 and 19 with skills and capabilities to prepare them for things they will face as women.
This approach is really relevant to girls in Indian Country because of the history of different sorts of oppression and exclusion, girls really face many challenges in Indian Country and we believe that preparing them with information and skills really do help build their protective human assets to face challenges that may come their way.
Through IMAGEN, female-led, Native Girl Societies are being established to host weekly gatherings of girls with female mentors in a local “safe space” where they receive skills-building workshops and support.
Listen to the full program here.