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Thursday, March 30, 2023

Mary Kim Titla, Role Model For Native Youth

By Bobbie O’NeillShe’s not a movie star although she is pretty enough to be one. She’s not a nationwide television personality, although she might have eventually become one if she had stayed in her profession as a TV news reporter. But, Mary Kim Kitla lined up a more exciting career, which has already gotten off the ground floor with an explosive start. She is the publisher of an Internet web site magazine called “Native Youth Magazine” which is already getting some 60,000 hits per day and it has only been in business since August of this year. WOW!!!! I think I’m doing well when I get 60 hits a day.   This new business is a family affair with her husband John Mosley and her three sons all working together. Titla was born on the San Carlos Apache Reservation to teenage parents and grew up in a two-room house with no electricity or running water but she was able to get a scholarship and has a bachelor’s degree in journalism from the University of Oklahoma and a master’s degree in mass communications from Arizona State University. She met and married Mosley, a Sioux-Paiute, while she was in school in Norman, Oklahoma.     Kitla left her reporting job for Channel 12, the NBC affiliate in Phoenix, on December 8th to run the family business full-time. Although they paid the start up cost of $15,000, the business has already signed up advertisers such as North American Indigenous Games 2006 and is discussing possible Nike partnerships. Colleges, vocational schools and even the FBI are using the Native Youth Magazine to contact young Indians around the country.   It is easy to see why it is becoming such a hit with Native youth both in the United States and Canada. The site features articles about fashion, sports, entertainment, education, scholarships, literature, profiles, story telling, youth news, calendar of events, festivals and powwows and has a very important message board. An online store is on the drawing board.   The latest posts include “My Trip to To Red Lake Reservation by Joshus Manriquez, “Woman Warrior For Christ” The lady writes about her trip to Israel and “Crystal Meth Became More Important Than Anything – Including My Life” by Tala Tootoosis. This is some pretty heavy stuff on a site that is long overdue for kids who have the highest suicide rate among teenage racial groups.     Kitla, while working in TV reporting, has racked up a few awards, which include being a finalist for a Rocky Mountain Emmy. She has won first place awards from the Associated Press, Arizona Press Club, and the Native American Journalist Association. She has been recognized by Outstanding Young Women of America and the YWCA. In 2002, she received the Ira Hayes Honorable Warrior award for her work with Native American Youth. Titla is currently the chairperson of the Board of Trustees for United National Indian Tribal Youth, Inc (UNITY).   The family goal for the site is to top 4 million hits a month to become the most visited Native site in the country.   For the record – It is my opinion, and has been for many years, that two of the more positive goals for Native Youths who want to make a difference in their communities and the nation are careers in the field of journalism – print media, TV, the Internet, or in politics – tribal, local, state and national. I hope Native Youth will stress a “Native Kids Voting” program in its future plans.   See for yourself what is being done for young Natives by the Mosley family. Log onto:www.nativeyouthmagazine.com               This column has been edited for content and length from stories on the Channel 12 Internet Network News, Native Youth Magazine and an article in the November 13th edition of the Arizona Republic’s Business Section bylined Judy Nichols.

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