S.L.A.M. TRIPS exists to provide youth groups with a Christ-centered and cross-cultural service and learning trip on the Yakama Reservation where students are taught to think and function within an Indigenous missiological paradigm instead of the historical Western paradigm.
Values—there are 3 values at the core of SLAM TRIPS:
We Value Students
We believe that students have much to offer to the rest of the world. They are the leaders of tomorrow., but we must invest in them today. Service and learning trips, if done in a good way, provide students with both leadership training and a place to put what they learned into practice. And what is leadership but serving others?
We Value Relationships
Intrinsic to our Native American culture is relationships. We are taught at a young age that relationships are more important than time or business. Thus, we are relationship-oriented at our core. We desire to pass this value on to our SLAM TRIPS participants. We understand that most participants will be coming from a time-oriented, or task-oriented, culture. We believe that we have much to offer groups coming from this paradigm.
We Value the Church and the Yakama People
Because we love the church so much, and we love our people so much, we so desire there to be conciliation between the two. We desire there to be healing from past abuses and injustices. We love the church too much to let her continue to abuse and treat our people unjustly. And so, we present to the church and our people, a different missiological paradigm within which to think. A model of reconciliation. A model of forgiveness and asking for forgiveness. A model of the church listening before she ever gives a word of teaching. When the church models these things then healing can begin for our people. And when healing begins for our people then healing can also begin for the church.