Center Receives Funding from the New York Life Foundation to Focus on Child Bereavement and Grief in Indian Country




Given to Support the Study of Bereavement Resources for Native American Youth

— the Most At-Risk Population in the United States

YORK, NY, February 11, 2013
— The Center for Native American Youth, a
policy program within the Aspen Institute headquartered in Washington, D.C.,
announced today a $75,000 grant from the New York Life Foundation.  The
funding will support a convening and a study of resources to determine the
current and future needs for bereavement and grief programming for the 2.1
million American Indian and Alaska Native (AI/AN) youth in the United States.

Indian children are too often left behind in this country, with chronically
underfunded health care and education systems,” commented former U.S. Sen.
Byron Dorgan, founder and chairman of the Center for Native American Youth.
 “I am excited about the Center’s partnership with the New York Life
Foundation because it is an example of efforts aimed at improving the lives of

our outreach in Indian Country, we hear from youth, parents and teachers that
more bereavement programming is needed,” said Erin Bailey, director of the
Center for Native American Youth at Aspen Institute.  “We want to
make this issue a priority on the national level.”

statistics are powerful.  The AI/AN youth face a disproportionately large
number of losses but lack culturally-sensitive bereavement services and
resources to meet the demand,” said Maria Collins, senior program officer
of the New York Life Foundation.  “The New York Life Foundation is
pleased to help the Center examine the existing bereavement and grief
programming and provide a plan to secure and develop resources to meet the
needs of this unique population.”

The Center was established
with a goal of bringing greater national attention to the issues facing Native
American youth and to foster solutions, with special emphasis on youth suicide
prevention.  According to the Center, average suicide rates among Native
American youth have reached 3.5 times the national average, with some tribal
communities having rates up to 10 times the national average.  The grant
will support research into the impact suicides have on youth and communities,
and help to determine the bereavement resources and services that are needed to
address this specific population.


The New York Life Foundation

by New York Life’s tradition of service and humanity, the New York Life
Foundation has, since its founding in 1979, provided more than $168 million in
charitable contributions to national and local nonprofit organizations.
 Through its focus on “Nurturing the Children,” the Foundation
supports programs that benefit young people, particularly in the areas of
educational enhancement and childhood bereavement.  The Foundation also
encourages and facilitates the community involvement of employees, agents, and
retirees of New York Life through its Volunteers for Good program.  To
learn more, please visit

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 U.S. Sen. Byron Dorgan
in February 2011, the Center is a policy program within the Aspen Institute,
headquartered in Washington, D.C.  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

Aspen Institute
is an educational and policy studies organization
based in Washington, D.C.  Its mission is to foster leadership based on
enduring values and to provide a nonpartisan venue for dealing with critical
issues.  The Institute is based in Washington, D.C.; 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,



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