Nibwaakaawin (Wisdom) is dedicated to the education and empowerment of Native youth. Our mission is to foster creativity, build courage, enable cultural identity and pride, and promote non-violent and healthy physical activity through skateboarding. Nibwaakaawin is a 501(c)(3) Native non-profit organization.
Nibwaakaawin’s programs include the All Nations Skate Project, a unique skateboard-centered outreach program that aims to provide safe and healthy recreational activities and lifestyle choices to Native youth who are at increased risk of childhood obesity, diabetes, participation in gang-related activities, drug abuse, and suicide. Skateboarding is the fastest growing sport on Native-American reservations and many Native communities are building skateparks to give their youth an opportunity to exercise and socialize. The All Nations Skate Project aims to direct the popularity of skateboarding among Native youth towards essential life-long skills and positive physical and mental health benefits.
Unlike most sports, skateboarding combines demanding physical exertion with filmmaking, design, graphic art, photography and music to create its own unique culture. In fact, many of Native America’s best young athletes, artists, and entrepreneurs are being inspired and nurtured on the skate parks of Indian Country.
The All Nations Skate Project uses skateboarding as a way for Native youth to explore possible career paths, form strong mentoring relationships with Native role models, and learn essential skills in health maintenance, non-violent conflict resolution, team building, and entrepreneurship. We offer:
- Native Skate Clinics and Skate Camps- Proficiency-building classes for youth to strengthen their skate skills and immerse themselves in Native skate culture
- Native Skate Presentations- Skate demonstrations by Indian Country’s top Native skaters
- Native Skate School Visits- Classroom meetings between teachers/students and Native skate companies, artists, and filmmakers
- Native Skatepark Consultations- Critical assessment and evaluation of current or future skatepark plans
All Nations Skate Jam, Albuquerque, NM:
Each year, the All Nations Skate Project produces the “All Nations Skate Jam” (ANSJ), the largest and most prestigious skateboard competition for Native youth. ANSJ brings together Native-American skate companies, youth groups, non-profit organizations, skaters, musicians, dancers, artists, filmmakers, traditional craft vendors, contemporary artisans, and many others in a two-day festival and skate competition. The goal of the ANSJ is to give the reservation, pueblo, urban, and suburban Native youth a central gathering place to meet and celebrate their diverse Native cultures while competing in skateboarding. The 4th annual “All Nation Skate Jam” in April 2010 exceeded the past year’s attendance records by nearly four fold. Over 6,000 people came to the 2 day-long Native skate festival, with more than 300 skaters from 50 different tribal nations competing.
Photo Courtesy of Walt Pourier, Nakota Designs
Regional Native Skate Jams — Nibwaakaawin is working with Native communities in California, Florida and Washington State to hold regional qualifying skate contests for Native skaters throughout the year.
Nibwaakaawin is staffed by a group of dedicated volunteers who donate their services, expertise, and limited financial resources to serve Native youth. With no central office, full-time staff, marketing budget, or major financial support, we rely on our computers, cell phones, and a core team of dedicated skate professionals to produce unique Native cultural events and educational programs.