MIGIZI provides a strong circle of support that nurtures the educational, social, economic and cultural development of American Indian youth.
For our organization
MIGIZI’s circle of relationships is part of a broader movement that advances success, well-being and social justice.
For our youth
American Indian youth are acknowledged and honored for their sacred gifts and boundless potential, which they share—as leaders—with their communities and nations.
We see in a relational worldview and as such, our values are grounded in the importance of relationships. We work towards each person embracing these values individually as well as from a place of belonging within the circle. The values keep the circle strong and support youth in finding their own sacred gifts. The values take practice. Continuous practice.
We take care of ourselves and each other. We are self-aware and reflective. We constantly work on holistic wellness. We believe in each other.
We are positive and honest. We assume the best and believe everyone has a positive core. We speak our truth and use positive words and framing. We focus on what we want, not on what’s wrong, and take the initiative to be part of the solution.
We value innovation. We are forward-thinking and always learning. We capitalize on our diversity to be more creative and innovative.
We believe our culture protects and strengthens us. We encourage our youth to be fiercely proud Indigenous people who know their cultural lifeways and perspectives and use culture as a sustaining resource to thrive in the world. We are spirits in human bodies, centered in a web of interrelationships.
From Humble Beginnings
MIGIZI was founded in 1977 as Migizi Communications, Inc. with a goal of countering the misrepresentations and inaccuracies about Native people in the media. MIGIZI's first weekly radio production, The Native American Program, set the stage for First Person Radio and its nationally distributed programming and was spearheaded by American Indian university students and journalists, with special mention to MIGIZI's first president and cofounder, Laura Waterman Wittstock.
The journalist and student group chose the name “MIGIZI,” bald eagle in the Ojibwe language, for the organization because the bird signifies communication as well as guardianship and high standards. These elements were what the group wanted for the organization to aspire to – excellence of communication, guardianship of the public trust and high standards for reporting and ethics.
Since then, we at MIGIZI have expanded our services and offerings as innovators in emerging industries. By providing skills in these industries to our young Native people, we hope to not only provide an engaging endeavor to enjoy, but to foster a professional career, social and emotional well-being, and cultural identity.
Early 1980s TPT report on MIGIZI and urban youth