Ryan Dreveskracht discusses why skateboarding is so popular among
youth in Indian Country:
Skateboarding provides Native youth with freedom the
freedom to take control of their lives, their bodies, the world
around them, and their futures.
Native Americans and Alaska Natives are twice as likely to
be diagnosed Type 2 diabetes. Native kids that skateboard are much
less likely to suffer complications from diabetes, and are 48 percent
more likely to stay healthy as an adult (compared to 20-percent
for kids who play organized sports).
Native American families are 50 percent more likely to endure
domestic violence. Skateparks provide a safe haven for Native kids,
creating opportunity for social interaction with other youth, which
helps these kids develop trusting and cohesive relationships that
many of them just cannot receive at home.
Native Americans have one of the highest dropout rates in the
Nation. Skateboarding gives an outlet for hyperactive children who
have trouble learning, and has been shown to improve performance
in the classroom.
Young Native Americans are more than three times more likely
to commit suicide up to ten times on some reservations. Skateboarding
creates a supportive environment for these at-risk youth. You dont
have to be a cool kid. You cant get cut from a team. You can
show up with clothes that dont fit you, and nobody cares.
You can be a weirdo in fact, its encouraged. Kids that
skateboard generally have less anxiety, less depression, less feelings
of hopelessness, and more satisfaction with life.