Center for Native American Youth (information)

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Champion Leads Youth Summit in Northern California

CNAY traveled to Northern California February 12-16 to visit tribal communities and urban Indian programs, as well as support one of our 2013 Champions for Change. CNAY visited Yocha Dehe Wintun Academy, toured and met with staff and young people from theAmerican Indian Friendship House in San Francisco, and held a program roundtable in Sacramento with Capitol Area Indian ResourcesSacramento Native American Health Center, and theInter Tribal Council of California, among others.

Dahkota Brown, 2013 Champion for Change, hosted the first annual N.E.R.D.S. (Native Education Raising Dedicated Students) Youth Gathering at Wilton Miwok Rancheria. CNAY staff, three additional 2013 Champions for Change, and CNAY board memember, Sam McCracken of Nike N7, presented to roughly 100 young people and community members from neighboring tribes during the gathering. The event was a great success and CNAY is very proud of Dahkota’s amazing efforts!

Recognizing 2014 Champions for Change & CNAY 3rd Annual Reception

CNAY is excited to recognize five Native American youth selected as our 2014 Champions for Change. The Champions will visit Washington, DC the week of March 10 and participate in a number of events. CNAY will introduce these Champions during a public luncheon event on Tuesday, March 11 at the Aspen Institute. The panel discussion will be moderated byCNAY Founder & Chairman Senator Dorgan and CNAY board member Sam McCracken, and will feature the five 2014 Champions for Change as they highlight their stories of leadership and positive efforts in Indian Country.

On March 12, 2014 CNAY will host its 3rd Annual Reception to celebrate our work and recognize our funders, partners, and other support from Indian Country. The reception will take place in conjunction with the National Congress of American Indians' Executive Council Winter Session. Senator Byron Dorgan and our team invite you to join us for these exciting events. RSVP here or email

DOJ in Phoenix and Visit with Gila River Youth

As co-chair of the Attorney General's Task Force on American Indian and Alaska Native Children Exposed to Violence, our founder and chairman, former US Senator Byron Dorgan attended a listening session with youth from the Gila River Indian Community and Ak-Chin Indian Community earlier this month. Senator Dorgan chaired the Task Force's second hearing focused on youth in the juvenile justice system at Salt River’s Talking Sticks. During the visit to Arizona, Dorgan and CNAY Director, Erin Bailey had the honor of meeting with Governor Greg Mendoza, a longtime champion for Native youth, and Lt. Governor Steve Lewis of Gila River.

Advocacy at 2014 UNITY Mid-Year Conference

On February 26, CNAY, including board member Allison Binney, led an "Advocacy 101" session with over 150 Native American youth participating in the United National Indian Tribal Youth, Inc. (UNITY) 2014 Mid-Year Conference. CNAY facilitated a workshop to help Native youth as they prepared for visits with Members of Congress on Capitol Hill. UNITY participants learned how to: prepare for meetings with Members of Congress, develop talking points, and follow up after their meetings. 

Highlight Program: The Brother Eagle Project

CNAY highlights impactful youth initiatives or programs bi-monthly on our website’s “Highlight Program” page as an effort to raise awareness to successful programming and efforts in Indian Country. The most recent highlight program is theBrother Eagle Project, which is an education multimedia tool designed to break the cycle of addiction and other behavioral issues at early ages. The series is currently comprised of five separate videos for Pre-K to 9th grade students in the White Earth Nation in northern Minnesota. Visit the “Highlight Program” page to learn more, or visit the “Archives” page to read about programs previously highlighted for their work with Native youth. You can also contact CNAY if you would like to recommend a program.

News Bites
Here are some stories we've been following around the country:

Vance Home Gun – Champion for Change – Shares Traditional Salish Stories with Community

New Mexico Suicide Prevention Funding Remains in Limbo

FY 2014 ACF Administration for Native Americans Funding Opportunity Announcements are now published

Senator Tester: Education is the Key for Tribes

US Attorney for North Dakota Advocates for More Tribal Control Over Juvenile Offenders

Inaugural Maori and Indigenous Suicide Prevention Symposium

Indigenous Suicide Prevention Strategy Launched in New Zealand

Senator Dorgan: Violence Against Children Goes Unpunished and Unnoticed (Video)

Dysfunctional Child Welfare System to Blame in First Nations Youth Suicide

Arkansas School of Law to Host Summer Program for Native Youth in Food and Agriculture

Six Red Cloud Students receive Horatio Alger Scholarship

Contract Support Costs to Be Paid in Full by Federal Government for 2014

Native Graduation Rates Rise in Portland Public Schools

Cheyenne River Youth Project Receives Grant from Notah Begay III Foundation

Alaska Native Youth Games Celebrates 40th Anniversary

Alaskan Traditions Helping Turn the Tide for Rural Youth Suicide

Adoption, From a Native American Perspective

Center Updates

Staff attended the “Going Local – Place-Based Solutions to Combat Poverty” event hosted by PolicyLink, which featured a panel of Cabinet secretaries and White House advisors, including Secretary Tom Vilsack of the US Department of AgricultureSecretary Shaun Donovan of the US Department of Housing and Urban Development, and Secretary Anthony Foxx of the US Department of Transportation. The panel discussed the newly announced Promise Zones, which include the Choctaw Nation of Oklahoma’s tribal service area.

For the fourth year, CNAY is pleased to offer one full tuition and residential scholarship for a Native young person to attend Columbia University’s 2014 Summer Program for High School Students. The three week program is open to all Native students entering high school to their freshman year of college. The application form and a list of required documents can be found here.  The deadline to appl y is March 7.

In early February, staff presented to theUnited South and Eastern Tribes (USET) Education Committee, made up of educators from numerous tribes, duringUSET’s Impact Week in Washington, DC.

CNAY is still accepting applications for two Policy Fellow positions to support our work in the area of racial equity and bereavement and grief. Click on thisposition description to read more about this opportunity, eligibility, and application process.

About the Center
Founded by former US Senator Byron Dorgan, the Center is a policy program within the Aspen Institute, headquartered in Washington, DC. While a part of The Aspen Institute, the Center is also overseen by a Board of Advisors. The goal of the Center is to bring greater national attention to the issues facing Native American youth, and to foster solutions, with special emphasis on youth suicide prevention. How you can help.
Link to The Aspen Institute
Link to CNAYorg

NW California Tribes (information)

OCAL NW CALIFORNIA TRIBES--The Little River is the boarder between the homelands of the Wiyot and Yurok peoples.  The Karuk, Hupa, and Tolowa Tribes also remain on their traditional homelands to this day.  While sharing a similar cultural framework, each of these Tribes has a wholly distinct Tribal language. The Tolowa lived along the extreme northern coast, from the southwestern corner of Oregon to approximately fifteen miles south of Crescent City. The Yurok lived along the coast, from this point south to just below Trinidad Bay, and up the Klamath River, extending about 45 miles and somewhat past the junction with the Trinity River as well as a short distance south along the Trinity. The Wiyot lived south along the coast from Trinidad past Eureka to Ferndale, encompassing Arcata and Humboldt Bays, the lower Mad River, and the lower Eel River. The Karuk lived on the Klamath above Yurok territory further up river to beyond Happy Camp, and along the Salmon River; the Hupa inhabited the Trinity River just before the junction with the Klamath, especially through the long north-south section called Hoopa Valley and south to Grouse Creek. The Tsnugwe people lived along the Trinity River area from Willow Creek through the Burnt Ranch area.  The Chilula and Whilkut were smaller tribes that inhabited warm interior valleys close to Redwood Creek and the Mad River watershed.

Full article attached:

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Native Youth Incarceration (community/news)

"Native Americans and Juvenile Justice: A Hidden Tragedy,"

by Terry L. Cross November/December 2008 issue of Poverty & Race

In the United States in 2008, there are more than 560 federally-recognized American Indian tribes comprising an American Indian/Alaska Native (AI/AN) population of approximately 4 million individuals. About half this population lives on reservations, and the others live off-reservation, primarily in urban communities. The AI/AN population is young: 42%—almost 2 million—are under 19 years of age. Twenty percent (800,000) are at risk—60,000 suffer abuse or neglect each year. According to the Youth Violence Research Bulletin, the suicide rate for American Indian juveniles (57 per 1 million) was almost twice the rate for white juveniles and the highest for any race. In addition, 200,000 are believed to suffer from serious emotional disturbances.

American Indian youth are grossly over-represented in state and federal juvenile justice systems and secure confinement. Incarcerated Indian youth are much more likely to be subjected to the harshest treatment in the most restrictive environments and less likely to have received the help they need from other systems. AI/AN youth are 50% more likely than whites to receive the most punitive measures. Pepper spray, restraint and isolation appear to be grossly and disproportionately applied to Indian youth, who have no recourse, no alternatives and few advocates.

In 2003, litigation over conditions in a South Dakota state training school revealed horrible abuses in the use of restraints and isolation, yet little in the way of education or mental health services. Findings also showed that Native youth were significantly over-represented in the lockdown unit and thus subject to the worst abuses. For example, one young girl from the Pine Ridge Reservation had been held in a secure unit within the facility for almost two years, during which time she was placed in four-point restraints while spread-eagled on a cement slab for hours at a time, kept in isolation for days and even weeks, and pepper-sprayed numerous times. This young girl, like many of the females confined at the facility, suffered from significant mental health and substance abuse issues. Due to the lack of appropriate mental health treatment and the harsh conditions in the facility, she resorted to self-harming behavior as a way to draw attention to herself, and like many of the other girls now has scars up and down her arms from cutting herself. Finally, the facility also instituted a rule that penalized Native youth for speaking in their Native language, and several were placed on lockdown status for speaking Lakota to each other.
There is a growing awareness that many tribes’ children and youth are being taken outside the care, custody and control of their families, communities and tribal government, and that many are suffering from extreme physical, mental and emotional abuse in the process. 

Full Information At:

Maladjusted (information)

Professor N. Bruce Duthu Dartmouth class of 1980, the Samson Occom Professor of Native American Studies and chair of Native American Studies Program, invoked the words of Martin Luther King in remarks at the annual employee breakfast celebration on January 21, 2013. Professor Duthu reminded the audience that King stated the following at Dartmouth in 1962: Society is “in desperate need of maladjusted men and women.” It is the maladjusted of society who reject racism and injustice. Duthu, an enrolled member of the United Houma Nation of Louisiana, recalled the segregated church of his parish as a child and the visiting priest who tore down the rail that separated the Native American parishioners from the white parishioners. This was the act of a maladjusted man, Duthu said.

Professor Duthu’s wonderful speech has just been added to Dartmouth’s YouTube channel,  watch the video.

Historical Trauma (health/information)

Dr. Maria Yellow Horse Braveheart, PhD, conceptualized historical trauma in the 1980's, as a way to develop stronger understanding of why life for many Native Americans is not fulfilling "the American Dream". This site exists to begin a collaboration of community advocates, allies, teachers, and students of historical trauma towards a stronger understanding of unresolved historical grief. 

What is historical trauma? Historical trauma is cumulative emotional and psychological wounding over the lifespan and across generations, emanating from massive group trauma. Native Americans have, for over 500 years, endured physical, emotional, social, and spiritual genocide from European and American colonialist policy. Contemporary Native American life has adapted, such that, many are healthy and economically self-sufficient. Yet a significant proportion of Native people are not faring as well. 

Our purpose is to heal from the historical unresolved grief that many indigenous individuals and communities are struggling with. Historical unresolved grief is the grief that accompanies the trauma. (Brave Heart, 1995,1998, 1999, 2000) The historical trauma response is a constellation of features in reaction to massive group trauma. This response is observed among Lakota and other Native populations, Jewish Holocaust survivors and descendants, Japanese American internment camp survivors and descendants. (Brave Heart, 1998, 1999, 2000) 

Full information at:

Study of Race


My name is Rebecca Rangel, a doctoral candidate in Counseling Psychology at
Teachers College, Columbia University. I am writing to invite you to participate
in my dissertation study that will help me and other scholars learn about
individuals' beliefs, attitudes, behaviors and feelings regarding their race,
culture, and identities. Moreover, it will explore the effects of oppression on
the mental health of individuals living in the United States.

To qualify you must:

· Be 18 years old or older.

· Identify as a Racial or Ethnic Minority in the United States.

If you decide to take this online survey, you will be asked personal questions
asking you to identify your gender, race, ethnicity, etc. as well as questions
regarding your racial attitudes, beliefs, behaviors and emotions. No identifying
information will be asked such as your name, date of birth, etc., hence this
survey is completely anonymous. The entire survey should take you approximately
30-45 minutes.

The survey can be found at:

Your responses are anonymous and confidential. Some individuals may be
interested in learning about the results, if so, you may contact the primary
investigator indicating your desire.

You may also forward to other individuals that you know who may meet criteria.
Thank you in advance for considering participating in this important study and
assisting me in completing my final doctoral requirement.

This study has been reviewed and approved by the Teachers College, Columbia
University Institutional Review Board, IRB-approved Protocol #12-059.

*If at any time you have comments, or concerns regarding the conduct of the
research or questions about your rights as a research subject, you should
contact the Teachers College, Columbia University Institutional Review Board
/IRB. The phone number for the IRB is (212) 678-4105. Or, you can write to the
IRB at Teachers College, Columbia University, 525 W. 120th Street, New York, NY,
10027, Box 151. You may also contact me, Rebecca Rangel, via email,
rr2447@... or my faculty sponsor, Robert T. Carter via email,

Again, Thank You!


P.S> Please pass on to others!!