Strengthening Indian Country Through Tribal Youth Programs

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American Youth Policy Forum & Office of Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention

This report on Tribal Youth Programs (TYPs), which help to support at-risk youth and promote family unity and often serve as the center of a community, focused on five communities: Confederated Tribes of Grand Ronde, Ore.; Mille Lacs Band of Ojibwe, Minn.esota; Old Harbor Village, Alaska; Absentee Shawnee Tribe, Oklahoma; and Mescalero Apache Tribe, New Mexico. Sarah Pearson, a staff member of both organizations, was able to organize focus groups and complete 137 individual interviews that included participants in TYPs, the parents of participants, program staff members and various tribal officials.

Based on interviews, the report found that the TYPs highly benefited participating youth, who ranged from ages 10 to 17 years old. The programs gave them a chance to do something productive with their free time, learn about their cultures, find creative opportunities, avoid unhealthy behaviors and work for higher grades at school. The study showed that as a result of the programs, not only has the number of tribal youth involved in alcohol, drugs and crime, gone down, life skills are learned during the regularly scheduled activities.

Free, 49 pages.