Native Youth

Foundation

Children are sacred to our communities. They carry forward our beliefs, cultures, strengths and traditions for future generations. It is our communities’ responsibility to provide our children with a foundation for supporting their mental, emotional, social and spiritual wellbeing. 

Doing this must start in early childhood. And, as they grow and learn, it becomes increasingly important to engage them in leadership roles.

How Foundation Shapes Us

Our youth are reclaiming their role as leaders in our communities. Native youth councils help our children learn responsibility, support others and grow, all while using their voice to make a difference.

Family members and community stakeholders play an important role in supporting youth in these leadership roles and engage them in the development and implementation of suicide prevention efforts.

WHAT CAN OUR COMMUNITIES DO NOW?

There are multiple ways you can support youth in recognizing and implementing these leadership positions:

Create
Create a youth council in your community if one hasn’t been formed yet.
Identify
Identify suicide prevention resources that exist or are needed. When suicide prevention programs are being developed in a community, engage youth at all stages of planning and implementation.
Encourage
Encourage parents and community leaders to attend youth events, such as basketball games, rodeos, cultural events, council meetings and school events to bolster youths’ self-esteem.
Advocate
Encourage adults to get involved in agencies and organizations that support youth—such as parent-teacher organizations, school boards, Boys and Girls Club of America, Head Start and child welfare services.
Promote
Consider adopting programs to promote healthy early childhood development. Some resources can be found through the Tribal Maternal, Infant and Early Childhood Home Visiting (TribalMIECHV) program.

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