Native American Youth: Our Identities as Civic Power
At a time when national dialogues about identity are more divisive than ever, Native youth are using the strength of their cultures to come together, reach out to others, and mobilize toward meaningful community change. Throughout history, Native peoples have been the targets of U.S. policies designed to strip them of the very cultural strengths that ensured their survival. Today’s Native youth are drawing on that same resilience to battle staggering disparities in health, education, economic opportunity, and more. We see examples of this resilience in youth leaders and youth councils throughout the country who use connections to land, relationships with elders, and ancestral teachings to strengthen the lessons of the past and inspire their peers to build strong futures for tribal communities.
Our annual State of Native Youth report highlights young leaders who are working hard to create this brighter future for tribal nations. The report shares what we’ve learned from our online national Native youth survey, and from community meetings with youth and service providers, about the priorities and solutions that matter most to our Native youth stakeholders. The report also examines data indicators of Native youth success and the policies that impact their lives.
As with last year, our survey results confirm culture and language preservation as the single most important priority for Native youth, followed by education and employment. We’re proud to present the State of Native Youth report as a resource and roadmap to help decrease barriers and increase opportunity for Native youth.
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