Native American Youths

April 24, 2015 • Volume 25, Issue 16
Can new federal programs improve their lives?
By Reed Karaim


Christina Red Lakes moved with her two children (Getty Images/Stephan Gladieu)
Christina Red Lakes moved with her two children to a shelter on the Standing Rock Sioux Reservation in North Dakota after she says the children's father became abusive. Federal and state programs are addressing the myriad problems Indian youths face, including high levels of poverty and substance abuse. (Getty Images/Stephan Gladieu)

Young American Indians and Native Alaskans face some of the most difficult social and economic challenges of any American youths. Native youths are exposed to violence at higher rates than any other racial or ethnic group in the country, and more than one in three lives in poverty. They also have the lowest high school graduation rate and much higher levels of substance abuse and suicide. Efforts to address these problems are underway at both the national and tribal levels. President Obama has proposed increased funding for Indian programs, including ones aimed at improving school quality and enhancing post-secondary career and technical vocational training. In addition, he has initiated Bureau of Indian Education reforms to increase tribal control of schools on Native lands. Meanwhile, some tribes are developing educational standards rooted in their local language and culture, while others are using peer groups to help Native youths talk openly about suicide, violence, substance abuse and other problems.

ISSUE TRACKER for Related Reports
Native Americans
May 05, 2017  Native American Sovereignty
Apr. 24, 2015  Native American Youths
Apr. 28, 2006  American Indians Updated
Jul. 12, 1996  Native Americans' Future
May 08, 1992  Native Americans
Jan. 18, 1991  Is America Allowing Its Past to Be Stolen?
Feb. 17, 1984  American Indian Economic Development
Apr. 15, 1977  Indian Rights
Nov. 08, 1972  Preservation of Indian Culture
Aug. 24, 1966  American Indians: Neglected Minority
May 26, 1954  Changing Status of American Indians
Apr. 13, 1949  Problems of the American Indian
Apr. 22, 1929  The Administration of Indian Affairs
Bilingual and Multicultural Education
Civil Rights: Native Americans
Crime and Law Enforcement
Diversity Issues
Education Policy
Historic Preservation
Juvenile Justice
Students and Social Life
Substance Abuse
Tribal Government
Unemployment and Employment Programs
Violence and the Family