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RAMAH NAVAJO RESERVATION, NEW MEXICO Former US Senator Byron Dorgan, the founder and chairman of the Center for Native American Youth at the Aspen Institute will travel to New Mexico to visit tribal communities and speak with Native American students.
Former Senator Dorgan
Monday August 20 at 2:00 pm mst
Senator Dorgan will speak to nearly 100 youth during a student assembly at
Pine Hill High School on the
Ramah Navajo Reservation in New Mexico.
Tuesday August 21
Senator Dorgan will travel to the San Felipe Pueblo to meet with San Felipe Pueblo's Governor, tribal council and speak with over 100 students
San Felipe Pueblo
“I look forward to visiting with inspirational students and tribal authorities in New Mexico,”
said Senator Dorgan.
“It is my top priority for the Center for Native American Youth to be reaching out to tribes and Indian youth. We need to work together to save and improve lives of our youngest First Americans.”
At both schools, Senator Dorgan plans to discuss and hear comments from students about what they see as needs and priorities in their communities. He will also share stories of his momentous 40 plus years of public service as a statewide elected office holder. Further, the Center hopes to hear from youth about what inspires them to be successful and share this knowledge back on a national stage.
The Center's director and program associate, Erin Bailey and Josie Raphaelito, will go on to meet with students and youth programs on the Pueblo of Zuni, Albuquerque and Thoreau, New Mexico. Staff from a national foundation will also be joining for a portion of the outreach trip, as the Center works to truly shine a spotlight and drive more resources to the challenges facing young people in Indian country.
“During our visits to these tribal communities, we will learn from Native youth doing amazing work in their communities and we want to share these positive messages and promote replication of the impactful efforts we learn about on the ground,”
remarked Erin Bailey, director of the Center.
Native American youth face some of the most tragic disparities of any population in the US and are the most at risk population in this country. High rates of poverty and unemployment, health disparities, alcohol and substance abuse, and increased youth gang activity can be found in many of the Native American communities across the nation.
There are 566 federally recognized tribal nations that are diverse in their own culture, language, and government systems. Senator Dorgan and the Center are committed to understanding the diversity of these tribal communities. In the organization's first year they have held over 30 roundtables in nine different states to reach out and learn from Native American youth and tribes.
During these visits to Indian country, the Center also connects tribal leaders, students, teachers and program staff to the Center's one-stop shop online resource center. All in an effort to increase access for tribes to scholarships, internships, summer programs for youth, funding opportunities, technical assistance centers, and suicide prevention resources.
posted August 20, 2012 10:50 am edt