The Center for Native American Youth held a youth roundtable discussion in Scottsdale, AZ on April 14th, led by former US Senator Byron Dorgan and myself, Director Erin Bailey. The event, the first in a series of roundtables planned this year, was hosted by the Salt River Pima-Maricopa Indian Community. Journalist Patty Talahongva, a member of the Center’s Board, joined the day’s events.
After being greeted by Salt River President Diane Enos and members of the Tribal Council, we took a tour of the beautiful high school. Following the tour, we met with about 30 students from grades 8 to 12, for a 90-minute roundtable conversation. They talked about everything from popular music, sports, traditional Indian dance, and youth programs on the reservation to career goals and more serious topics like youth suicide and substance abuse. The participants were amazing young leaders and provided great insight into the lives of youth in Salt River, and ideas for addressing their challenges.
The roundtable was excellent and successful event! Thank you to all the youth, teachers, and Salt River Pima-Maricopa Indian Community for hosting us. Special thanks to Ruben Guerrero for helping us set up the meetings!
Above: The group of students who attended the rountable, plus Senator Dorgan
(center), Director Erin Bailey to his left, and Board member Patty Talahongva
to his right.