The 11th annual Blackfeet Youth Day kicks off the North American Indian Days. One of the event organizers, Debbie Whitegrass-Bullshoe, explains that everything at this community event is free. Bruce Runningcrane, fire prevention tech with the Blackfeet Tribe, says free events are important because "it brings more people in and not just from Browning, but also surrounding communities".
It's made possible thanks to the power of volunteers and multiple organizations collaborating together to reach common goals. Bullshoe says, "we don't have to reinvent the wheel. We can share costs".
One of the goals is community togetherness. Nine year old Keeley Runningcrane has been coming to this event as long as she can remember. She enjoys it because "everyone is enjoying it and everyone is apart of it".
Another goal is just having fun. There are tons of games and activities for children small and tall. however, today kids will also learn important lessons on health and wellness. Runningcrane says, "the earlier we start with the kids, the better and we can teach them the right way".
One focus is eating right. Runningcrane says, "obesity in kids, it's not a problem out there, it's here in Browning". Keeley advises, "don't eat junk food as often" and "always keep exercising". She says learning how to be healthy is important for kids her age because "we want to be healthy when we grow up to be big and strong".
There's also a powerful anti-substance abuse message at the event. Keeley warns, "young kids do not do that and I plan on not doing that in my life".