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Choctaw Nation uses Internet to connect youth and elders

Hayden shares his story connecting to the Internet at the 2016 summit.Choctaw Nation’s youth are instrumental in connecting their elders to the Internet. In partnership with Boswell Public Schools, Southeastern Oklahoma State University is educating the Choctaw Youth Advisory Board about Internet safety, social media, information access, and basic tablet applications. Once the students receive the training, they travel throughout the Choctaw Nation to share these learnings with their community’s elders.

Hayden Stonebarger, a 14-year-old youth board member, is a great example of this partnership in action. Hayden shows the elders in his community how to access vital resources like ordering their medicine online.

These youth-elder connections are helping to bridge generations. Youth benefit from greater access to information, educational opportunities, and leadership development. Elders look forward to their regular visits from the students, during which they are empowered to share their life experiences and traditional culture. Through these interactions, the history and legacy of the Choctaw Nation’s elders are extended and preserved for future generations.