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Outline: Federal Native American youth programming, conferences, and commissions/councils

May 23, 2014

Center for Native American Youth
The Aspen Institute

Outline: Federal Native American youth programming, conferences, and commissions/councils

Purpose: The youth matrix is designed to track key activities and programs developed, managed or funded by federal agencies which engage, or could in the future include, resources for American Indian and Alaska Native (AI/AN) youth. The federal youth activities include conferences, commissions, committees, and other events or groups that specifically focus on or include youth. The purpose is to provide federal agencies and national networks with existing opportunities to connect with and engage youth and map federal resources being used to directly work with youth.

Corporation for National and Community Service (CNCS)

·         AmeriCorps VISTA: This national service program, founded 45 years ago, designed to fight poverty by training VISTA members, who are committed to serve one-year full-time positions at a nonprofit organization or local government agency. Native American young people are encouraged to participate as VISTAs.

o   AmeriCorps VISTA has partnered with Boys & Girls Club in Indian Country to provide a positive place where Native American young people can go to celebrate their culture and community, enjoy healthy fun with their peers and to learn new skills and self-confidence under the guidance of responsible adults. VISTAs will build organizational capacity through: Internal Operations and Management; Program Development and Impact; Resource Development; and Sustainability and Strategic Relationships.

·         CNCS Urban American Indian Summit and the Education in Indian Communities Summit: This summit has been held in the past at the National Museum of the American Indian. Various challenges faced by Urban American Indians are the focus for this summit. Youth have been present and continue to be a vital part of this annual conference.

US Department of Agriculture (USDA)

·         American Indian & Alaska Native Programs:This website provides information about successful development stories in rural tribal communities. Additional resources include updates on AI/AN outreach, available funding, AI/AN coordinators and more.   

o   Food Distribution Program on Indian Reservations (FDPIR): Provides monthly food packages to low-income families in approximately 240 Tribes.

o   Women, Infants and Children (WIC) Program: USDA works with more than 34 Tribes to provide specific supplemental foods, nutrition counseling, and access to health services to low-income women, infants, and children with high nutritional risk.

o   Summer Food Service Program (SFSP): This summer program was established to ensure that low-income children continue to receive nutritious meals when school is not in session. Free meals, that meet Federal nutrition guidelines, are provided to all children 18 years old and under at approved SFSP sites in areas with significant concentrations of low-income children.

o   1994 Tribal Scholars Program:A USDA program established to enhance the capacity of AI/ANs to attain educational excellence to contribute to the fulfillment of the USDA’s mission.

o   Federally Recognized Tribes Extension Program (FRTEP): Among other things, this program is designed to support the reduction of childhood obesity and improve food safety for Tribes.

o   Terra Preta Fellowship program: The fellowship program offers faculty and staff from 1994 Tribal Land-Grant Institutions the opportunity to spend three weeks in Washington, DC to increase their understanding of USDA and other federal agencies working at the national level. 

o   Let’s Move in Indian Country (LMIC): LMIC is a national initiative dedicated to solving the challenge of childhood obesity within a generation. This initiative is a collaborative effort between the White House, Indian Health Service, Bureau of Indian Affairs and Bureau of Indian Education, USDA, and other federal agencies.

US Department of Education (DOE)

·         Office of Indian Education (OIE): Supports the efforts of local educational agencies, Indian tribes and organizations, postsecondary institutions, and other entities to meet the unique educational and culturally related academic needs of American Indians and Alaska Natives so that these students can meet the same challenging state standards as all students.

o   Formula Grants to Local Education Agencies: The program is the Department's principal vehicle for addressing the particular needs of Indian children. Grant funds supplement the regular school program. Projects help Indian children sharpen their academic skills, assisting students in becoming proficient in the core content areas, and provide students an opportunity to participate in enrichment programs that would otherwise be unavailable. Funds support such activities as after-school programs, early childhood education, tutoring, and dropout prevention.

o   Demonstration Grants for Indian Children: This program is designed to improve the education opportunities and achievement of preschool, elementary, and secondary school Indian children by developing, testing, and demonstrating effective services and programs.

o   Indian Education Professional Development Grants: This discretionary/competitive grant program is designed to prepare and train AI/ANs to serve as teachers and school administrators.

US Department of Health and Human Services (HHS)

·         Administration for Children and Families (ACF):ACF’s mission is to foster health and well-being by providing federal leadership, partnership and resources for the compassionate and effective delivery of human services.

o   Administration for Native Americans (ANA):  ANA promotes self-sufficiency for Native Americans by providing discretionary grant funding for community based projects and training and technical assistance to eligible tribes and native organizations.

§  ANA's Funding Opportunity Announcements (FOAs) are in the following areas:

·         Native American Language Preservation and Maintenance

·         Native American Language Preservation and Maintenance - Esther Martinez Immersion

·         Social and Economic Development Strategies (SEDS)

·         Sustainable Employment and Economic Development Strategies (SEEDS)

·         Environmental Regulatory Enhancement (ERE)

·         Native Asset Building Initiative (NABI).

§  ANA Resource Directory  

o   Administration of Children Youth and Families (ACYF): ACYF is divided into two bureaus, each of which is responsible for different issues involving children, youth and families and a cross-cutting unit responsible for research and evaluation.

·         The Children’s Bureau:

o   The Children’s Bureau is the first federal agency within the U.S. government—and in fact, the world—to focus exclusively on improving the lives of children and families.

·         Family and Youth Services Bureau (FYSB):

o   The mission of the FYSB is to promote safety, stability and well-being for people who have experienced or been exposed to violence, neglect or trauma. FYSB achieves this by supporting programs that provide shelter, community services and prevention education for youth, adults and families.

o   Runaway and Homeless Youth (RHY) Program: The RHY website provides information about funding opportunities, programs, reports and data, and other resources for runaway and homeless youth. Links are also provided for the National Runaway Switchboard at

o   National Clearinghouse on Families and Youth (NCFY): The NICFY website is a resource hub providing information about grant opportunities, best practices, data, and positive youth development for current and prospective Family and Youth Services Bureau grantees, along with providing a guide for communities to start and manage their own youth programs.


·         Centers for Medicaid & Medicare Services (CMS)

o   CMS - Office of Public Engagement created the Tribal Affairs Group as a point of contact on AI/AN issues within all of CMS. The Tribal Affairs Group works closely with American Indian and Alaskan Native communities and leaders to enable access to culturally competent healthcare to eligible Medicare and Medicaid recipients in Indian Country. CMS collaborates with the Indian Health Service and other federal partners to facilitate access to high quality and timely healthcare.

o   Health Insurance Marketplace Q & A webpage for AI/ANs.

o   CMS also organized the Tribal Technical Advisory Group (TTAG) to advise the agency on Indian issues and policies affecting delivery of health services to AI/ANs served by CMS-funded programs.

§  Youth Outreach:

·         Medicaid & CHIP - Working Together for Our Children, for Our Future: As a part of CMS’ efforts to ensure all children have health insurance, this video is part of the CMS outreach and education tools for Indian Country.

·         CMS PSA- Enroll in Children’s Health Insurance for AI/ANs: This short television PSA features Olympic Gold Medalist Billy Mills and is another outreach and education tool being shared with Indian Country.


·         Indian Health Service: Agency responsible for providing federal health services to American Indians and Alaska Natives.

o   Youth Regional Treatment Centers (YRTCs): Centers provide a range of clinical services rooted in a culturally relevant, holistic model of care. These services include: clinical evaluation, substance abuse education, group, individual and family psychotherapy, art therapy, adventure-based counseling, life skills, medication management or monitoring, evidence-based/practice-based treatment, aftercare relapse prevention, and post-treatment follow-up services.

o   Meth and Suicide Prevention Initiative (MSPI): The MSPI program provides funding to tribes, tribal organizations, and Indian health programs to provide methamphetamine and/or suicide prevention and treatment services.

o   Collaboration with We R Native on video series for AI/AN Youth to address youth suicide, bullying, and other issues.

o   Let’s Move in Indian Country(LMIC): LMIC is a national initiative dedicated to solving the challenge of childhood obesity within a generation.  This initiative is a collaborative effort between the White House, Indian Health Service, Bureau of Indian Affairs and Bureau of Indian Education, USDA, and other federal agencies. Their website provides resources and toolkits  to help communities hold their own LMIC events.


·         National Action Alliance for Suicide Prevention

The National Action Alliance for Suicide Prevention, established in 2010, is the public-private partnership advancing the National Strategy for Suicide Prevention. The vision for the Action Alliance is “a nation free from the tragic experience of suicide.”

o   Mission: To advance the National Strategy for Suicide Prevention (NSSP) by: championing suicide prevention as a national priority catalyzing efforts to implement high priority objectives of the NSSP and cultivating the resources needed to sustain progress.

o   American Indian/Alaska Natives Task Force: The Action Alliance has an AI/AN Task Force made up of approximately 20 members, co-lead by the Assistant Secretary for Indian Affairs, Director of Indian Health Service and the Executive Director of the National Indian Youth Leadership Project.

§  Regional Tribal listening sessions were held in 2010 and participants expressed concerns and shared promising practices. These conversations helped form the agenda for 2 Action Summits for the Prevention of Suicide.


·         National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA)

o   NIDA’s AI/AN Coordinating Committee: Works to increase research capacity, opportunities and data related to AI/ANs, while educating NIDA staff and identifying research gaps within the tribal communities.

o   NIDA’s AI/AN Researchers & Scholars Workgroup:Educates the public, including students, health practitioners and researchers on addiction and associated co-morbidities in the AI/AN population. The workgroup recruits mentors (interdisciplinary faculty members) from across the nation and mentees (post-baccalaureate and graduate students, medical students, post-doctoral fellows and early career faculty) from across Indian Country.

§  NIDA’s Students and Young Adults page: Offers publications, treatment information, fact sheets and other resources specific to young people.

§  Summer Research with NIDA: A summer program for high school and undergraduate students from underrepresented groups with meaningful research experiences and mentorship in the field of drug abuse and addiction (seven AI/AN students were accepted in 2012).


·         Office of Minority Health (OMH): Dedicated to improving the health of racial and ethnic minority populations through the development of health policies and programs that will help eliminate health disparities.

o   National Partnership for Action (NPA): This new OMH initiative serves to mobilize a nationwide comprehensive and community-driven approach to combatting health disparities. Some of NPA’s ten regional health equity councils (RHEC) have expressed interest in recruiting AI/AN youth representatives to get involved in media messaging and leadership development. Comments should be directed to NPA-Project Coordinator Onyemaechi Nweke at


·         Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA)

o   Youth Commission or Council:

§  SAMHSA National Advisory Councils provides advice to the agency on issues that are important to the agency, the substance abuse prevention field, and the public. The council consists of 12 members: nine members are leading representatives in the health disciplines related to CSAP/SAMHSA’s mission; three members are from the public. Youth (under the age of 25) are more than welcome to be nominated to sit on this advisory group.

o   General Lee Smith Youth Programming:

§  Garrett Lee Smith Suicide Prevention Grant Program, authorized through the Garrett Lee Smith Memorial Act, is the first federal suicide prevention program targeted toward youth. Three-year funding programs exist for tribes and colleges and universities to address suicide prevention. 

§  Circles of Care is a three-year planning grant targeted at building capacity in tribal communities. Program activities include the assessment of current children’s mental health system services and resources and to develop al program based on the SAMHSA Systems of Care principles.                

US Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD)

·         Office of Native American Programs (ONAP): Administers housing and community development programs that benefit American Indian and Alaska Native tribal governments, tribal members, the Department of Hawaiian Home Lands, Native Hawaiians, and other Native American organizations.

o   PlanetYouth: The Native American Youth Connection:Planet Youth connects American Indian, Alaskan Native and Native Hawaiian youth to people, cultural resources and fun using the internet. Parents, researchers, and teachers will find the site an important and useful resource for providing opportunities for Native and non-Native youth and their families with access to a base of knowledge about American Indian history, facts and culture.  HUD’s Office of Native American Programs works with tribes and Native organizations to make sure affordable housing is available to Native Americans, Alaska Natives and Native Hawaiian families. The Office of Native American Programs sponsors Planet Youth.                


US Department of the Interior (DOI)

  • Bureau of Indian Affairs(BIA):The mission of the BIA is to enhance the quality of life, to promote economic opportunity, and to carry out the responsibility to protect and improve the trust assets of American Indians, Indian tribes, and Alaska Natives.
    • Office of Youth in the Great Outdoors: Provides educational and employment opportunities around issues of the environment, climate change, energy, wildlife and landmarks for youth.
    • Let’s Move in Indian Country(LMIC): LMIC is a national initiative dedicated to solving the challenge of childhood obesity within a generation.  This initiative is a collaborative effort between the White House, Indian Health Service, Bureau of Indian Affairs and Bureau of Indian Education, USDA, and other federal agencies.
    • Presidential Active Lifestyle Award for Indian Country: This initiative rewards individuals who are making a commitment to and engaging in physical activity.
  • Bureau of Indian Education (BIE): The BIE oversees more than 180 elementary, middle and high schools serving AI/AN students and manages a series of programs. In conjunction with Let’s Move! In Indian Country, the BIE holds a Physical Activity Challenge.


US Department of Justice (DOJ)

·         Attorney General's Task Force on American Indian and Alaska Native Children Exposed to Violence: This task force is anchored by both a federal working group that includes U.S. Attorneys and officials from the Departments of the Interior and Justice and an advisory committee of experts appointed to examine the scope and impact of violence facing American Indian and Alaska Native children and make policy recommendations to Attorney General Holder on ways to address it.

·         Attorney General’s Indian Country Fellowship: Designed to create a new pipeline of legal talent with expertise and deep experience in federal Indian law, tribal law, and Indian Country issues that can be deployed in creative ways to build tribal capacity, combat violent crime, and bolster public safety in Indian County jurisdictions.

·         Office of Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention (OJJDP): OJJDP's Programs for Tribal Youth helps tribal communities prevent victimization and juvenile delinquency, reduce violent crime, and improve tribal juvenile justice systems.

o   Tribal Youth Program (TYP): The TYP serves to help tribal opportunities prevent juvenile delinquency, reduce violent crime, and improve tribal juvenile justice systems through training and technical assistance, funding opportunities and collaboration.

o   National Intertribal Youth Summit: This annual summit brings together young men and women from tribal communities across the nation to participate in a week-long youth leadership conference.  Organizers include several federal agencies, the Administration and non-federal partners.

·         Other Youth-Focused Programs:

o   Crimes Against Children in Indian Country:This annual conference provides up-to-date information and strategies for combatting substance abuse, internet crimes and cyber bullying, and promoting mentoring and positive youth development.

o   Comprehensive Indian Resources for Community & Law Enforcement (CIRCLE) Project: The CIRCLE Project assists tribal communities in developing comprehensive planning and funding infrastructures to fight crime, violence and substance abuse. 

o   AMBER Alert in Indian Country: This initiative serves to establish and expand child recovery practices, capacity and resources. 50 AMBER Alert plans have been developed in tribal communities and over 1,200 tribal officials and community members have attended training or participated in technical assistance programs

US Department of Labor (DOL)

  • Division of Indian and Native American Programs: This website provides general information about economic self-sufficiency through employment and job training for Native Americans.
  • YouthBuild: YouthBuild is a federal grant program focused on an alternative education program that assists youth with obtaining a high school diploma or GED credential.


US Department of State

·         Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs Youth Programming:

o   Critical Language Scholarship (CLS) Program: CLS is an intensive overseas language program available to Native Americans. Undergraduate and graduate students live and study at over twenty sites abroad, covering the equivalent of a full year of college-level language study in thirteen critical languages. The summer program lasts seven to ten weeks.

o   Gilman Program: Provides need-based scholarships to US undergraduates who have been traditionally underrepresented in study or internships abroad including financially disadvantaged students, ethnic minorities, and students with disabilities. Scholars receive up to $5,000 based on need, with students who study critical languages eligible for an additional $3,000.

o   American Youth Leadership Program: These three- to four-week group exchanges offer high school students and teachers the opportunity to study global issues in select countries overseas. Activities include workshops, site visits, and homestays, and participants design community service projects to complete once they return home.

o   Congress–Bundestag Youth Exchange Program (CBYX): The CBYX program provides merit-based scholarships for eligible high school students to spend an academic year attending a German school while living with a host family. No previous language skills are required. Students return from the program with a greater perspective on German social, economic, and political life.

o   National Security Language Initiative for Youth (NSLI-Y): NSLI-Y provides scholarships for summer and academic year overseas immersion programs that focus on the study of Arabic, Chinese, Hindi, Korean, Persian, Russian, and Turkish. Previous language study is not required, and language learners of all levels are encouraged to apply.

o   Kennedy-Lugar Youth Exchange and Study (YES) Abroad: YES Abroad provides students with an opportunity to develop a firsthand perspective of a Muslim culture through spending an academic year attending school and living with a host family in select countries with significant Muslim populations. Participants serve as “youth ambassadors” of the United States, promoting mutual understanding by forming lasting relationships with their host families and communities, and upon returning, share their knowledge with their home communities.

US Environmental Protection Agency

  • Tribal ecoAmbassadors Program: Each year EPA’s Tribal ecoAmbassadors Program gives over 100 Tribal College or University students the opportunity to work with their professors and EPA scientists while solving environmental problems in their communities.

The White House

·         White House Website on Native Americans: This White House website provides information about President Obama and the Native American community, including resources, news updates, and other information about how the President is engaging the Native American community.

·         White House Initiative on American Indian and Alaska Native Education: Seeks to support activities that will strengthen the Nation by expanding education opportunities and improving education outcomes for all American Indian and Alaska Native (AI/AN) students.  It is committed to furthering tribal self-determination and ensuring AI/AN students, at all levels of education, have an opportunity to learn their Native languages and histories, receive complete and competitive educations, preparing them for college, careers, and productive and satisfying lives.

·         My Brother’s Keeper Initiative: Initiative with leading foundations and businesses that will take a collaborative, multi-disciplinary approach to build ladders of opportunity and unlock the full potential of boys and young men of color – including Native boys and young men.

·         Let’s Move in Indian Country(LMIC): LMIC is a national initiative dedicated to solving the challenge of childhood obesity within a generation.  This initiative is a collaborative effort between the White House, IHS, BIA and BIE, USDA, and other federal agencies.

·         White House Internship Program: This hands-on internship program provides opportunities for students to gain professional experience and build leadership skills while strengthening their understanding of the Executive Office.   



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