Check out This Resource for Native Youth Research!


 Tips for Researchers: Strengthening Research that Benefits Native Youth

The National Congress of American Indians (NCAI) Policy Research Center invited several distinguished scholars to share their best practices to identify key aspects of ethics and process in research developed with and for Native youth.

The report is designed to guide efforts to include American Indian and Alaska Native (AI/AN) youth in research, so that the research generates the maximum benefit for AI/AN youth and their communities, and importantly, does no harm. It offers some broad insights in five key areas, or “Tips”, in the hopes that this can be tool for communities of researchers, youth, and youth advocates to come together around and use to develop context-specific discussions and partnered research goals. The five key areas with lead author annotations include the following:

  1. Centering Youth Voices (Greg Tafoya)
  2. Engaging Tribal Communities (Catherine Burnette)
  3. The Power of Place-Based, Small-Scale Inquiry (Tarajean Yazzie-Mintz)
  4. Expanding Tribal Youth Research in Urban and National Settings (Michelle Sarche)
  5. Ethical Considerations (Deana Around Him)

View the Report here (PDF)

NCAI Policy Research Center. (2016). Tips for Researchers: Native Youth Research. Author: Washington, DC.

TIPS FOR RESEARCHERS: Strengthening Research that Benefits Native Youth

American Indian and Alaska Native (AI/AN) youth deserve our very best. Although the phrase Native youth may hold different meanings for different audiences, use of the phrase here is meant to indicate AI/AN children and youth from the prenatal period to the age of twenty-four. Youth are a large and growing sector of AI/AN communities, making up 42 percent of the AI/AN population nationally and over 50 percent of the AI/AN population in some states like South Dakota. They are also growing up in contexts that are culturally, economically, environmentally, and technologically different from that of their parents and grandparents. Their notions of health, success, and identity are often distinct from those of other generations.

*Read the rest of the NCAI report here.

ANA Notice of Public Comment

Attached is the Notice of Public Comment on the proposed adoption of Administration for Native Americans (ANA) program policies and procedures as they relate to the FY2017 Funding Opportunity Announcements for the following programs:

  • Environmental Regulatory Enhancement
  • Sustainable Employment and Economic Development Strategies
  • Native American Language Preservation and Maintenance – Esther Martinez Immersion
  • Native American Language Preservation and Maintenance
  • Social and Economic Development Strategies
  • Economic Development Strategies-Alaska
  • Native Youth Initiative for Leadership, Empowerment, and Development

The deadline for receipt of public comment is February 21, 2017.

Download the Notice of Public Comment Here

Important Announcement: Champions for Change Application Deadline Extended

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 The Center for Native American Youth has extended the Champions for Change application deadline to Friday, November 18. Click here to apply. 

Champions for Change (CFC) is a leadership development program designed to shine a national spotlight on Native youth like you who are leading positive change in your communities. The CFC program gives Native youth a national platform to:

  • Educate new stakeholders about the challenges and strengths of Native communities,
  • Lift up youth perspectives on the issues you find most important,
  • Celebrate your innovative ideas and hard work to tackle tough issues, and
  • Receive support and encouragement to help you grow as strong leaders and advocates.

We’re still searching for the five young leaders who will join our fifth class of Champions for Change. We need your energy, leadership, and partnership to ensure that Native youth have meaningful opportunities to impact the issues that matter the most.

Make sure your application and three recommendations are submitted by Friday, November 18 to be considered for the 2017 class of Champions for Change.

REMEMBER: A COMPLETE Champions for Change application includes:

Visit us at for more information about the CFC program and application. Still have questions? Contact CNAY at (202) 736-2905 or

Information from:
Center for Native American Youth
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Using Evidence as a Guide to Better Serve Native Youth

Here’s a first look at some of the progress Federal agencies have made by taking a coordinated, cross-agency approach to better serve Native youth:

To build a government that works smarter, better, and more efficiently for the American people, we need to have a clear understanding of our progress. Collecting data, creating goals, and monitoring the success of the Federal Government initiatives helps guide our decisions and reliably assess our programs. It shows where interventions work and should be expanded, and where they do not and should be rethought. It uses evidence – not stale assumptions – as a guide to better serve communities.

Few places are more important to achieve success than improving services for American Indian and Alaska Native youth. As the President has said, “Together, we can make sure that every Native young person is treated like a valuable member not only of your nation, but of the American family — that every Native young person gets an equal shot at the American Dream.” One step in delivering on this commitment is better coordinating and measuring how we serve Native youth. And in 2015, we took significant steps to strengthen our efforts in this area.

As a part of the Administration’s Generation Indigenous initiative, Federal agencies put the focus on six key priorities that required urgent interagency work: 1) Improve Educational Outcomes and Life Outcomes for Native Youth; 2) Increase Access to Quality Teacher Housing; 3) Improve Access to the Internet; 4) Support the Implementation of the Indian Child Welfare Act (ICWA); 5) Reduce Teen Suicide; and 6) Increase Tribal Control of Criminal Justice.

Federal agencies continue to work with the White House Council on Native American Affairs and the Office of Management and Budget to establish metrics and collect data in each of these areas, and some of the results are already in. With this initial data, we now have an early look into the areas Federal agencies are succeeding in by taking a coordinated, cross-agency approach to better serve Native youth, as well as the challenges that remain.

Today, we’re excited to share this early data from three key areas:

Supporting the Implementation of the Indian Child Welfare Act (ICWA)

The Indian Child Welfare Act (ICWA) seeks to keep American Indian children with American Indian families in response to the alarmingly high number of Indian children that were being removed from their homes by both public and private agencies. The intent of ICWA was to “protect the best interests of Indian children and to promote the stability and security of Indian tribes and families.” The implementation of ICWA requires support for tribal and state courts, social workers and foster care. Agencies are focused on programs that support building capacity and the programmatic support necessary to implement ICWA.

In order to understand how ICWA is being implemented, it is necessary to track whether the reporting requirements of ICWA are being met. The Department of the Interior (DOI) is tracking progress by monitoring the percentage of tribes that submit the Indian Child Welfare Quarterly and Annual Report. Out of 365 tribes that receive ICWA funding, 19 percent submitted an annual report in the 4th quarter of FY 2015. By FY 2016, that number was 78 percent. In addition, the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) is tracking the number of states that report final adoption decrees to the Bureau of Indian Affairs (BIA), starting from a baseline of 18 states as of September 2014.

Improving Tribal Control of Criminal Justice

Tribal Nations are in the best position to address the unique needs of their communities. Increasing tribal control facilitates culturally-based solutions that incorporate tribal laws and priorities. Agencies are emphasizing investments that give tribes the tools they need to establish and maintain effective justice systems.

The Department of Justice (DOJ) is measuring progress by reviewing federally-funded, tribally-controlled programs to track the percentage of tribal youth who demonstrate improvement in targeted behaviors like school attendance, substance abuse and avoiding gang activity. DOJ reported that 70 percent of youth in these programs showed improvement in FY 2014, and that number increased to 73 percent in FY 2015. DOJ also found that in federally-funded, tribally-controlled programs, the portion of native youth who offend and/or reoffend fell from 24 percent in FY 2014 to 13 percent in FY 2015.

Increasing Access to Quality Teacher Housing

Improving the availability and condition of teacher housing is essential for tribes and the Bureau of Indian Education (BIE) to attract and retain more high-quality teachers in Indian country. The Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) is tracking the number of tribal grantees who use HUD funds to build or repair teacher housing, with the first update expected in December 2016. In addition, the BIA is tracking the facility condition of teacher quarters at BIE-funded schools, with a goal of improving the percentage maintained in good condition from a baseline of 24 percent in June 2015.

Next Steps

Improving the lives of Native youth requires progress in all of these areas, progress that will only occur with the sustained and coordinated efforts of Federal agencies, tribes, and state and local partners. The initial progress shows what is possible when Federal agencies, tribes, and other partners focus their resources and attention with the help of smart data. These metrics, however, also indicate the significant work that remains to truly meet the Nation’s obligation to Native youth. We’ll continue to work with agencies to strengthen these metrics and increase the collection of data so that, together, we can better assess, and learn from, the Administration’s progress in addressing the challenges that face Native youth.


Ali Zaidi is the Associate Director for Natural Resources, Energy, and Science at the Office of Management and Budget.  

*Originally published at

Don’t Miss Out the March 9th Native Youth Community Projects Webinar!

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The Office of Indian Education will host a series of online webinar sessions for the 2016 NYCP competition. The first webinar is scheduled for March 9, 2016 and titled Native Youth Community Projects Pre-Application Webinar Session.

Webinar Topic: Telling Your Story: Understanding the NYCP Application & What It Can Do for Your Community
Date: March 9, 2016
Time: 2:00 PM EST

To register, please visit:

N7 Announces Funding Opportunities For Native Youth Through Generation Indigenous. Deadline is November 15th!

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As a part of President Obama’s Generation Indigenous (Gen-I) initiative, Nike, Inc. and the N7 Fund has partnered with the Center for Native American Youth (CNAY) to extend grant opportunities as a resource for Native youth leaders promoting health and wellness through sport and physical activity in their community. Gen-I is an initiative to help improve the lives of Native youth and to cultivate the next generation of Native leaders. Gen-I includes new investments and policies to expand educational, employment, and health and social services for Native youth. CNAY, along with the Department of the Interior, have partnered to launch a National Native Youth Network. Through this Network, CNAY has engaged over 2,000 Native youth from across the country in 2015.


For more information and to apply, please visit:

Free Webinar: The Impact of Cultural Perspectives on Dropping Out of School April 23, 2015

April 23rd, from 1:00 – 2:30 pm EDT

About the Webinar:

This webinar will address the impact of historical trauma on risk factors that contribute to Native youth dropping out of school and provide culturally responsive approaches to diminish this problem.  Presenters will examine the role and impact of a state American Indian Education Program, how it has addressed historical trauma and its associated risk factors through its programs, messages, and services and the impact of these interventions on Native American graduation rates in the state.

Discussion Topics Include:

  • Factors impacting Native American dropout rates
  • The importance of culturally responsive dropout prevention
  • Designing and implementing effective practices to improve graduation rates among Native American students at the state and local levels

Register Here


First Nations Development Institute Now Accepting Proposals FY 2015 Native Youth & Culture Fund

First Nations Development Institute (First Nations) is now accepting proposals for its Native Youth and Culture Fund (NYCF) program that focuses on youth, and incorporating culture and tradition to address social issues in Native communities. First Nations will award approximately 20 grants to Native organizations and tribes seeking ways to preserve, strengthen and/or renew Native culture and tradition among Native youth.

Applications are due by 5 p.m. Mountain Daylight Time on Thursday, March 12, 2015. All applicants must fully complete the First Nations online grant application.

Please read the official request before you decide to submit a proposal. More information and the online grant application can be found here: