Senator Dorgan and the Center for Native American Youth Announce Grant Award from the W.K. Kellogg Foundation

 $600,000 grant will address racial equity issues faced by Indian youth over next three years. 

Washington, DC, May 1, 2012 –– Former US Senator Byron Dorgan and the Center for Native American Youth announced today they have been awarded a $600,000 grant from the W.K. Kellogg Foundation. The funding will be used over the next three years to continue and expand the organization’s efforts to build a platform for national dialogues about Indian youth issues, Indian Country outreach, and a policy and resource agenda that promotes racial healing and improves access to opportunity for American Indian and Alaska Native (AI/AN) children. The funds will also be used develop the organization’s capacity.


“Far too many Indian children are being left behind in our country,” said Senator Dorgan “I am eager to work with the W.K. Kellogg Foundation, tribal governments and parents to address the challenges facing of our youngest First Americans.”

Native American youth are the most at-risk population in this country. Young AI/ANs suffer the highest rate of suicide, attain the lowest level of education of any racial or ethnic group in the United States, and are arrested at a rate three times the national average.

The Center for Native American Youth is determined to raise these issues into the national dialogue, driving more resources and creating a place for stakeholders to, in partnership with tribes, come together to develop solutions to these complex challenges. Senator Dorgan and the Center are also committed to identifying and promoting promising practices and other successful Native American youth initiatives that are making a positive impact on AI/AN youth today. Through this work, listening directly to tribal communities and AI/AN youth is the Center’s top priority prioritizes first and always listening.

With Senator Dorgan’s significant experience and leadership along with the strong platform of the Aspen Institute, the Center is uniquely positioned to bring people together to craft and drive a national agenda forward.

Objectives of the program are to increase national awareness, understanding and engagement around challenges faced by AI/AN children; improve coordination of government agency and private organization programing for AI/AN youth, and serve as a one-stop source for information regarding AI/AN youth programming and issues.

The Center was created with a one million dollar contribution from US Senator Byron Dorgan’s excess campaign funds in 2011. In addition to US Senator Dorgan’s campaign contribution, the Center for Native American Youth has received generous support from individuals and numerous Indian tribes.

The W.K. Kellogg Foundation, established in 1930, supports children, families and communities as they strengthen and create conditions that propel vulnerable children to achieve success as individuals and as contributors to the larger community and society. Grants are concentrated in the United States, Latin America and the Caribbean, and southern Africa.

The Center for Native American Youth
is dedicated to improving the health, safety and overall well-being of Native American youth through communication, policy development and advocacy. Founded by former US Senator Byron Dorgan in February 2011, the Center is a policy program within the Aspen Institute, headquartered in Washington, DC. The Center works to strengthen and create new connections, as well as exchange resources and best practices that address the challenges facing Native youth. Visit the Center’s website for a comprehensive list of resources available to young Native Americans, tribes and the general public. For more information, visit

The Aspen Institute’s mission is twofold: to foster values-based leadership, encouraging individuals to reflect on the ideals and ideas that define a good society, and to provide a neutral and balanced venue for discussing and acting on critical issues. The Aspen Institute does this primarily in four ways: seminars, young-leader fellowships around the globe, policy programs, and public conferences and events. The Institute is based in Washington, DC; Aspen, Colorado; and on the Wye River on Maryland’s Eastern Shore. It also has offices in New York City and an international network of partners. For more information, visit



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