Many of you may not know, but statistically speaking…
There are 1.2 Million American “Indian” and Alaskan Native youth under the age of 25 years upon Turtle Island! Truth be known, Native youth under age 25 make up 42% of the entire “American Indian” and Alaska Native single-race population, while youth only make up 34% of the entire US Population!
Over 1/3 of Native population is under the age of 18 as compared to only 34% of the total US population whom are under age 18 years of age.
Every Child is Sacred is a national collaborative effort comprised of leading Native American organizations, allies, and partners from all backgrounds, focused on changing national, tribal, and state policy to create conditions in which American Indian and Alaska Native children can thrive. We are working to cultivate and nurture strategies and policies that build and strengthen equitable and local supports for vulnerable Native children in their communities.
As an important part of tribal communities that tribal leaders have, for time immemorial, strive to ensure that youth have the tools and resources to positively impact their communities. In addition to implementing a number of year-round, ongoing programs, AWMAT strives to support events which bring youth together and celebrate there spirits as well as their achievements .
We respect and appreciate that our sizeable young population represents an unprecedented moment of opportunity for our as well as all other tribes. The choices that Indian Country – including individual tribes – make in the coming years will determine our collective future. Now is the time to build a brighter future that addresses the significant challenges facing Native youth. After-all. the children of the community and will be its elders tomorrow.
Native youth sit at the confluence of where our past joins with present and future; and tribal leaders often work to create experiences for their youth that celebrate Native culture while exposing youth to new knowledge. As essential culture and tradition bearers, preparing youth for the future may not just mean preparing them to walk in two worlds, but preparing them for the “one world” of tomorrow by ensuring that they feel strong in their Native cultures and that they feel confident engaging with other cultures.
The goal of the many projects we have are geared to increase the number of American Indian and Alaska Native youth who are prepared with political knowledge and skills to become national and tribal leaders, and to identify strategies for improving policy and data on issues of significance to Native youth. Some of these projects include but are not limited to fellowships and other social interactions including academic as well as sporting events and team/group activities. We also have projects that offer opportunities that include the option of internships for students and young professionals to earn valuable experience working with the nation’s oldest, largest, and most representative organization, advocating on behalf of tribal governments.