Last Friday, May 6, the Center for Native American Youth hosted program staff from federal agencies, and representatives from several national Native American advocacy organizations, for a roundtable discussion of the programs and resources available to Native youth. Each agency gave a summary of their current and future offerings and initiatives, and a healthy back-and-forth revealed a number of potential areas the different groups could work together.
Photo: Senator Byron Dorgan, founder and chairman of the Center for Native American Youth, talks to federal agency representatives about why he founded the Center, and why Native youth issues are so important to him. (For a video of the Senator talking about these things, visit our home page.)
One of the Center’s top goals is to serve as a trusted, comprehensive resource for tribes and Native youth, and also for agencies and organizations working with Indian Country. Friday’s roundtable was the first step in an ongoing effort to bring together major stakeholders working on these issues to identify all available resources, and to ensure that those resources, and the opportunities that come with them, get communicated to the people who need them most.
The roundtable was the start of a series of such meetings with other key stakeholders working on behalf of Native youth.
Michalyn Steele, Counselor to the Assistant Secretary for Indian Affairs, listens to a question from another participant.
In attendance Friday were staff from the the US Department of Agriculture, the Department of Education’s Office of Indian Education, the Department of Health & Human Services (including the Administration for Children and Families, Administration for Native Americans; Indian Health Service; and Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Adminstration), the Department of the Interior (including the Bureau of Indian Affairs, Bureau of Indian Education and Office of Youth in the Great Outdoors), and the Department of Justice (including the Office of Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention, and the Office on Violence Against Women).