As part of CNAY’s efforts to engage Native American youth and learn about their priorities – CNAY has directly connected with over 5,000 young people in the last 4.5 years – we traveled to Montana in early September to visit several tribes, schools, and youth-serving programs. During the trip, we were joined by Nike N7 Programs, to provide youth with ideas for getting their communities active and to share information about the N7 Fund Grant available to Gen-I Youth.
We began our trip at Rocky Boy High School on the Rocky Boy Indian Reservation where they met with a group of 11 Native youth to learn from them about challenges they face and successes they are having. Following that meeting, we traveled to Box Elder High School on the Rocky Boy Indian Reservation where we met with 12 Native youth to hear about their priorities, as well. Later that evening, we traveled to Fort Belknap Indian Community where we held a roundtable with 22 youth leaders from Harlem High School, Hays/Lodge Pole High School, and Dodson High School. During the roundtable, youth were treated to an Indian Taco dinner made by a local family while we discussed their priorities and shared resources.
Following our visit to Fort Belknap, we traveled to the Fort Peck Assiniboine & Sioux Tribes and had lunch with youth involved in the Fort Peck Tribes Health Promotion and Diabetes Prevention Youth Leadership Program. We learned about the program and priorities of the youth involved in the program.
On our final day in Montana, we visited the Crow Nation where we met with students from Plenty Coup High School and Lodge Grass High School before traveling through the Northern Cheyenne Indian Reservation. We wrapped up our trip at the St. Labre Indian School where we met with 20 students for our last listening session.
Throughout the listening sessions and roundtables across the State of Montana, we heard priorities from high-schoolers that included: access to health care and health facilities; financial assistance for higher education; anti-bullying efforts; improved access to dental care; Indian child welfare, and resources for those struggling with drug and alcohol abuse.
CNAY will continue its community engagement efforts in the future, including a trip to Portland and San Diego in mid-October. Stay tuned for updates and photos!