REDWOOD NEWS: With us tonight is Vincent Feliz, coordinator of the Da’Luk Youth Program here in Humboldt and Del Norte County. Welcome, Vincent. Hello. So, can you tell me in a nutshell about your program?
VINCENT FELIZ: The Da’Luk Youth Program serves tribal youth and young adults ages 12 to 26. We’ve been around since spring of 2020, where Elevate Youth California funded program is essentially the Prop 64 cannabis tax dollars.
REDWOOD NEWS: Got it. I noticed on your website and your Facebook page, there’s a ton of activities for native youth.
VINCENT FELIZ: Since 2021 last year was particularly busy. in 2022 we did 13 events in 11 months, so a lot of events around sports related. So basketball clinics, softball clinics, cultural events, traditional arts like hands on learning.
REDWOOD NEWS A lot of arts. I’m seeing. Murals.
VINCENT FELIZ: Murals. Yes, indeed. Yeah. We had a mural project refunded a mural up in Ka’Maw Medical Center that’s there now. Youth helped put that together. The artist Sorren Richards up in Hoopa. Also Alme Allen was a big part of a mural that was was put together in Arcatao and then also Corby Scoggins. Artists we had, along with youth in our alley right at the NCIDC BLOCK Building.
REDWOOD NEWS: You and I were speaking earlier about counseling services. Can you elaborate on them?
VINCENT FELIZ: Yes. I think as folks know in Humboldt counties, we are really kind of a huge counseling, clinical need for services, you know, in our suicide rates and fentanyl overdoses, you know, domestic violence. So we since 2021, we put together a counseling program for once again for tribal youth, ages young adults, ages 12 to 26. Pretty successful. We have a good number of young adults, kind of just life transitions supporting them. And one thing that’s probably pretty critical, everything with all of our events are free of cost. So it really kind of helps. Including counseling. Yeah.
REDWOOD NEWS: Oh, seriously?
VINCENT FELIZ: Yes.
REDWOOD NEWS: What’s coming up? Events wise.
VINCENT FELIZ: You know, we’re excited. We have a really good team. We have an indigenous education advocate and a youth outreach coordinator that are part of our team, along with our director, who runs all of our youth programing. We’re going to do an event at College of the Redwoods. So a junior college transfer day, Motivation Day. It’s called Empowering Futures. It’s happening November 30th, all day at the College of the Redwoods, Eureka Campus. We’re excited. We’re coordinating with of the calls, the redwoods, folks there.
REDWOOD NEWS: And who oversees your entire program?
VINCENT FELIZ: We are really blessed to work with Northern California and the development Council who kind of applied for the grant and got us into this program. And I kind of joined them back in 2020. Folks might remember them as tri counties. They’ve been around since the seventies. Basic needs, disaster assistance and climate readiness for several years. And now they’ve really been branching into youth services and youth leadership and empowerment and identity are our administrative team is Maggie Flynn and also Greg Gehr, longtime executive director of NCAA DC.
REDWOOD NEWS: Vincent Feliz is coordinator of the DaLuk Youth Services. Thanks for joining us today.
VINCENT FELIZ: You’re welcome.