National Inter-tribal Youth Summit

Met With Youth And Adult Leaders

Recently, at the 2012 National Inter-tribal Youth Summit, Acting Assistant Attorney General of the Office of Justice Programs, Mary Lou Leary, met with more than 200 American Indian and Alaska Native youth and adult leaders from 53 tribal communities across the country.

Held At 4-H Conference Center

The conference ran through  August  2nd  at the 4-H Conference Center in Chevy Chase, Maryland, and at various locations in Washington, D.C.  “I was inspired by the enthusiasm of these remarkable young people who are so strongly invested in the future of their communities, and so eager to help bring about positive change” she stated.

Critical Indian Country Issues Discussed By Teens

During the summit, the teens discussed the critical issues facing them in Indian Country.  The participants had a chance to develop their leadership skills and engage in interactive discussions with tribal elders and leaders, youth advocates, and field experts on cultural values and community-based solutions to these pressing issues.  They talked about their concerns with officials from Congress and the White House, and from the Departments of Justice, Interior, Health and Human Services and Education.

Respond To Requests From Tribal Leaders

The Justice Department launched the Youth Summit initiative to promote long-term improvement in public safety in tribal communities.  The Department was responding to requests from tribal leaders for the development of culturally appropriate prevention, treatment and reentry programs for tribal youth and families.  The Summit provided an important opportunity for the Department to ask the young people themselves how they perceive the problems and what they recommend in formulating solutions.

Hear Directly From Youth Representatives

As Acting Associate Attorney General Tony West said at the opening ceremony: “This summit is an opportunity for those of us in Washington to hear directly from youth as representatives of their tribe. The choices that young leaders make will help define the future of their tribal nations.  Working together, we can develop solutions to the challenges that they, their families, and their peers face each day.”

Creating Positive Change

The 4-H program is the nation’s largest youth development and empowerment organization, reaching more than 7 million  4-H  youth in urban and  neighborhoods, suburban school yards, and rural farming communities. Fueled by University-backed curriculum, 4-H’ers engage in hands-on learning activities in the areas of science, healthy living, and food security.

Woody Woodchuck
“Words of wisdom from the Prairie Dog”

Prairie Dogs Watch  Representative  From Sicangu Lakota Tribe, 

Singing The National Anthem In Her Native Language

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Lorna HerManyHorses, from the Sicangu Lakota Tribe, opens the morning session by singing the National Anthem in her native language. More than 200 American Indian and Alaska Native youth and adult leaders from 53 tribal communities across the country attended the event.                                                   Photo Credit: Lonnie Tague for the Department of Justice