November 07, 2017
Cultural Survival welcomes Nati Garcia, Indigenous Youth Community Media Fellowship Coordinator, as the newest member to our staff. Nati is Maya Mam from Ixtahuacan, Guatemala. She was born in a refugee camp in Campeche, Mexico as her family fled Guatemala in the 1980’s due to the military genocide operation that targeted Indigenous communities. At the age of 3 years old, her family received refugee in Canada. She grew up most of her life on traditional territories of the Coast Salish peoples – sḵwx̱wú7mesh (Squamish), sel̓íl̓witulh (Tsleil-Waututh), and xʷməθkʷəy̓əm (Musqueam) Nations. Her experience as a marginalized Indigenous youth inspired her in advocating for Indigenous sovereignty and self-autonomy.
Nati is an interdisciplinary artist who holds sacred spaces through movement, play, and creativity. She practices her spiritual gift when working with resilient children, youth, and women displaced in society. Over 5 years of experience as a facilitator, youth counselor, and community builder, she has helped individuals develop the sense of self-worth and integrity. Nati is enlivened by opportunities to explore authentic exchange, leadership, world bridging, social justice, and youth empowerment. She has worked with a variety of intergenerational, intercultural and youth-focused organizations within Canada and hopes to continue on this path in, collaborating, teaching, learning and performing on an international level. Her dream is to return to Guatemala and bridge relations with Indigenous youth through collective media. She feels her role as the Project Coordinator for the Indigenous Youth Community Media Fellowship is the stepping stone to making her dreams come true and becoming part of the global community with Cultural Survival.
The Indigenous Youth Community Media Fellowship Project, a part of the Community Media Grants Project, aims to support youth from the ages of 14 to 25 to build and reinforce capacity in areas of Indigenous community radio and Indigenous communication in relation to Indigenous Peoples’ rights and cultures. Capacity of the fellows will be built through trainings, community radio exchanges, radio production, and conference attendance.
Fellowships of $4,000 per fellow including project expenses and a 12 month stipend will be awarded to six candidates from Mexico, Peru, Bolivia, Belize, Guatemala, El Salvador, Honduras, Nicaragua, Costa Rica, Panama, South Africa or Nepal in the coming months.