Native American Youths

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

Introduction

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.

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Apr. 24, 2015  Native American Youths
Apr. 03, 2015  Latino Voters
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BROWSE RELATED TOPICS:
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