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Where Wounded Knee meets wounded knees: Skate parks and Native American youth

Hilary N. Weaver


As contemporary peoples, Native Americans exist within multifaceted realities and participate in many everyday popular pleasures. One pleasure prominent in the lives of many young Native Americans is the activities that take place at skate parks. Skate parks have been linked to wellness promotion for both young people and communities and can function as a venue to nurture and mentor Native American youth in ways that parallel traditional methods. Some proponents of skate parks use the popularity of skateboards and skating to link past and present in ways that teach history and expand ideas about contemporary Indigenous aesthetics. This phenomenon can also be a visible means to challenge stereotypes and rigid definitions of us and them. This article draws on scholarly literature, the popular press, and personal experience to examine the growth of skate parks in Native American communities and their implications for Indigenous identity and wellbeing.

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Print ISSN 1177-1801 Online ISSN 1174-1740