Native Youth

Minority Serving Institutions Partnership Program - Tribal Education Partnership Program

The Department of Energy’s (DOE) National Nuclear Security Administration (NNSA) has a vital national security mission to protect the American people by maintaining a safe, secure, and effective nuclear weapons stockpile. This mission could not be accomplished without a focus on Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM) strategies to build capacity, drive innovation, and ensure we have a world class workforce to meet the security demands of the present and future.

Resident Instruction Grants Program for Institutions of Higher Education in Insular Areas

The purpose of these programs is to promote and strengthen the ability of eligible institutions in the Insular Areas to carry out education within the FANH sciences. RIIA projects strengthen institutional educational capacities, including libraries, curriculum, faculty, scientific instrumentation, instruction delivery systems, and student recruitment and retention, in order to respond to education needs in the food and agricultural sciences.

Fiscal Year (FY) 2021 Request for Applications from Indian Tribes and Intertribal Consortia for Nonpoint Source Management Grants Under Clean Water Act Section 319

This Request for Applications (RFA) is issued pursuant to Section 319(h) of the Clean Water Act (CWA), which authorizes EPA to award grants to eligible tribes and intertribal consortia to implement approved NPS management programs developed pursuant to Section 319(b)(1) “for controlling pollution added from nonpoint sources to the navigable waters” and “improving the quality of such waters.” NPS management programs must identify “best management practices and measures which will be undertaken to reduce pollutant loadings resulting from each

Tribal Colleges Research Grants Program

This program was designed to assist 1994 Land-Grant Institutions (Tribal Colleges) in building institutional research capacity through applied projects that address student educational needs and meet community, reservation or regional challenges. Awards are to be made on the basis of a competitive review process. Collaboration with 1862 or 1890 Land-Grant Institutions, the USDA Agricultural Research Service (ARS), a Non-Land-Grant College of Agriculture (NLGCA), or at least one forestry school funded under the McIntire-Stennis Cooperative Forestry Research Program is a requirement.

Just Launched! Redesigned YE4C

The Youth Engaged 4 Change website has a fresh, new look with content that continues to inspire and empower young people to improve their lives and the world around them.

Resource: Healthy Native Youth

This website provides culturally-relevant health curricula for Native youth.

Resource: NCFY

This website provides articles highlighting resources on research, program strategies, federal news, and funding opportunities.

American Indian and Alaska Native (AI/AN) Youth

According to the U.S. Census Bureau, in 2010, there were roughly 5.2 million American Indians and Alaska Natives (AI/AN) living in the U.S., representing approximately 1.7 percent of the total U.S. population.1 This represents an 18 percent increase since the last decennial census. Of this group, more than 2.1 million American Indians and Alaska Natives are under the age of 24.2 This is approximately 42 percent of the total AI/AN population.

  • Nearly half of AI/ANs live on reservations or designated tribal lands in the western states, with the largest populations in Arizona, California, Oklahoma, and New Mexico,3 and 60 percent live in urban communities.
  • The states with the largest proportion of AI/ANs include Alaska with nearly 15 percent of the state population,4 California with 14 percent, and Oklahoma with nearly 10 percent.5

There are 573 federally-recognized tribes in 35 states in the United States.6 Each tribe is distinct, with its own form of self-governance, culture, traditions, language, and community infrastructure. In the state of Alaska there are 229 federally-recognized tribes.7

Sovereignty is a legal word for the authority to self-govern and to protect and foster the health, safety, and welfare of AI/AN peoples within tribal territory. Essentially, tribal sovereignty refers to tribes’ inherent rights to manage their own affairs and to exist as nations. Currently, the 573 sovereign tribal nations (variously called tribes, nations, bands, pueblos, communities, and Native villages) have a political government-to-government relationship with the U.S. government.

Tribal governments exercise jurisdiction over 100 million acres of land, that would make Indian Country the fourth largest state in the nation.8 Tribal governments are an important and unique member of the American family of governments, which includes tribal governments, the U.S. federal government, and the U.S. states. The U.S. Constitution recognizes that tribal nations are sovereign governments.

As members of tribes, AI/AN people have both an ethnic and political status. As governments, tribes exercise substantial governing powers within their territory, including regulating research. Similar to federal and state governments, tribes have sovereign power over their lands, citizens, and related affairs.

As a result of the government-to-government relationship between tribes and the federal government, the federal government is obligated by a responsibility relationship to protect tribal resources. Federal policies are designed to further the trust relationship including offering certain social services such as education and health, and support for tribal services provision. Previous federal policies of forced removal of AI/AN tribes from their traditional homelands, and forced assimilation of AI/AN people into mainstream America have exacerbated some of the social service needs of AI/AN youth.

Although tribes and their governments vary widely, to be a member of a tribe means to share a common bond that may include ancestry, kinship, language, culture, ceremonies, and political authority with other members. AI/AN tribes are working diligently to reverse the negative impacts of poverty, historical and intergenerational trauma, health, education, and justice disparities to ensure the future, health, and well-being of their members.

Resources

Native American Youth 101: Information on the Historical Context and Current Status of Indian Country and Native American Youth (PDF, 10 pages)
This resource provides information on the historical context and current status of Indian country and Native American youth.

The Center for Native American Youth
The Center for Native American Youth was developed to improve the health, safety, and overall well-being of Native American youth through communication, policy development, and advocacy.

The National Congress of American Indians
The National Congress of American Indians provides several channels to support Native youth, including the NCAI Youth Commission, the National Native Youth Cabinet, NDN Spark, and internships and fellowships. In 2011 and 2012 NCAI collaborated with the Department of Justice to host the National Indian Youth Summit.

References

1 American Indian and Alaska Native Tribes in the United States and Puerto Rico: 2010, 2011
2 Native American Youth 101, n.d.
3 Status and Trends in the Education of American Indians and Alaska Natives: 2008
4 U.S. Census Bureau, 2015, race counted as ‘Native American and Alaska Native alone’
5 U.S. Census Bureau, 2012, race counted as ‘Native American and Alaska Native alone or in combination’
6 Bureau of Indian Affairs, 2014
7 U.S. Department of the Interior, Indian Affairs, 2016
8 National Congress of American Indians, n.d.

Matt

My advice is to work hard, believe in yourself, and have fun doing it.