Next Adventure Presents: the Indigenous Youth Outdoor Education Scholarship
Next Adventure’s three core principles are to Inform, Outfit, and Excite. We are steadfast in the belief that achieving harmony of these principles expands the outdoor adventure community.
We also recognize that the forces of colonization and white supremacy have displaced and disenfranchised Indigenous peoples from not only outdoor adventure communities, but from the very land that we call the outdoors; ancestral lands that have been home to Indigenous people for time eternal.
Furthermore, we recognize that as an outdoor retailer, we are complicit in the exclusion of Indigenous people from accessing their ancestral lands, by funding and representing a monolithic outdoor adventure community. We see the lack of diversity in the lift line, at the trailhead, and in our stores. We hear our BIPOC staff’s experience of racism, discomfort, and delegitimization in outdoor spaces. We know that disproportionate access to wealth is often an insurmountable barrier to gaining knowledge and resources necessary for a safe, prepared adventure. We are learning, and we are taking action to expand the outdoor community equitably, honoring the history of Indigenous land stewardship, and subverting the legacy of white supremacy culture in outdoor sports.
For these reasons, we are proud to announce the Next Adventure Indigenous Youth Outdoor Education Scholarship. This scholarship is a first step toward creating inclusion and leadership for future generations of Indigenous people in outdoor communities. Our applications are now open, and contest details are below:
Who can enter:
The scholarship application is open to anyone in the United States between the ages of 16 - 24 who identifies themselves as an Indigenous person of the North/South American continental landmass. You can be a professional outdoor adventurer or a first-timer. Tell your friends!
In the future, we will consider opening this scholarship to a broader age group, and a larger region. We will also consider creating other scholarships that facilitate outdoor education and participation for the many individuals whose identities have been disenfranchised, marginalized, and systemically excluded from outdoor recreation communities. The criteria of this scholarship reflects our intention of creating equity in youth outdoor education among Indigenous people.
A panel of judges will select two recipients of the scholarship in January, 2022. Each recipient will receive up to $1,000 towards enrollment in an outdoor education program of your choice. The amount awarded will reflect the cost of the program; if it costs $1,000 or less, we’ll pay for the whole thing.
When we say outdoor education program, we mean any established course, class, certification, or guided trip that facilitates knowledge or skills sharing about the outdoors and wilderness. We recognize and respect the vastness and variety of outdoor education, so if you think it makes sense, we will probably love it!
We are a Portland company, and we want to honor our community by selecting one of our two recipients from our home region (the Portland Metropolitan Area). The other recipient’s location does not matter, so long as they reside in the United States.
How to enter:
Simple! Fill out this application form with your email address. We ask that applicants choose between a short essay, or a recording (either video or audio). Limitation of one entry per applicant. Applications will close at 11:59 PM, PST, 12/31/2021.
We are in the process of creating a panel of judges, who will develop their own criteria for selection of applicants, based on the information included in applications. Our judges will be Indigenous outdoor educators and recreationists. When our panel of judges is selected, we will provide information on our panel and selection process.