Ta'ala Hooghan InfoShop: a center for Native youth

<i>Tyler Tawahongva/NHO</i><br>
An outside view of the Ta’ala Hooghan Infoshop and Youth Media Arts Center, located at 1700 N. Second Street in Flagstaff.

<i>Tyler Tawahongva/NHO</i><br> An outside view of the Ta’ala Hooghan Infoshop and Youth Media Arts Center, located at 1700 N. Second Street in Flagstaff.

FLAGSTAFF, Ariz. - The Ta'ala Hooghan InfoShop and Youth Media Arts Center located at 1700 N. Second St. is an action-packed center for Native American youth and activists. One of the youth services provided is the Outta Your Backpack Media (OYBM) program, which allows Native youth to develop and produce their own films projects.

Since 2007, OYBM has worked with more than 300 youth and produced dozens of short films at free youth workshops. One of their most notable achievements to date is the film "In the Footsteps of Yellow Woman," which was written and directed by 14-year-old Camille Manybeads Tso.

The 27-minute docu-drama chronicles the courageous journey of Tso's great-great-great-grandmother during the Long Walk. Tso spent an entire year doing research for her film, which has been screened at over 25 film festivals across the country and won numerous awards.

According to Klee Benally, the center also has an Infoshop that offers literature on numerous activist organizations including environmental and Native rights groups.

The center is open from 4-8 p.m. Monday through Friday. On their website, a listing of some of their available resources include radical books, local CDs, DVDs, 'Zines and 'Zine archives, lending library, performance space, silk-screening, movie nights, DIY art nights, gardening and discussion groups and more.

In addition to activism, Ta'ala Hooghan has a gym setup in one of the buildings where youth activities are held. There is also a library and an area where they are able to silkscreen T-shirts. The center is constantly being developed. Benally hopes to get a rehearsal studio for bands set up in one of the rooms as well as improve the gym to convert to a music event area for bands to play.

One event that occurs monthly is the free market, the brainchild of Berta Benally. The idea behind the free market is to recycle items instead of throwing them away. Numerous items from clothes, books, records to household items are available for the taking. They would like more people from the community to participate and give away their items for others to use.

For more information about Ta'ala Hooghan, visit www.taalahooghan.org or e-mail infofosho@gmail.com.

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