Tribal people had ways of keeping track of major events that influenced their communities and ways of life. In the Northern Plains many American Indian tribes depicted their year in a Winter Count.
Today, there are so many different events that influence tribal communities and youth. In order to understand what our tribal youth are experiencing and how we can best serve and support them, we want to bring their voices to the forefront and keep them the focus of our work.
So, as we end the current calendar year and move from 2019 to 2020, we asked a group of tribal high school freshmen to reflect on the major events of the past 2019 year, the influence of those events on them and/or their community, and what they hope for in 2020. Here are their Winter Counts:
The Tribal Youth Resource Center in conjunction with Kognito, LLC is currently offering three free virtual training opportunities. Virtual trainings are available to OJJDP Tribal Grantees and other interested Federally Recognized Tribes. The virtual training simulation modules offer users the opportunity to create an avatar that engages in realistic scripted dialogue in a safe non-threatening environment. In each module users choose responses, receive feedback from a virtual guide, and gain valuable knowledge and skills to engage with youth. Three simulations are currently available. Communities interested in learning more about accessing the simulations can visit the Tribal Youth Resource Center website and can also email the Tribal Youth Resource Center at TribalYouth@TLPI.org
November is designated as a time to celebrate Native American Heritage, although many of us celebrate it every day. One aspect of our beautiful heritage includes culturally driven leadership practices, values and philosophy. Although Tribal Nations have differences and similarities in leadership styles, it would be safe to assume that historically, many, if not all, promoted and practiced cultural values as the foundation for leadership. There were rigorous training standards for becoming an effective Tribal/Indigenous leader, none of which was based on learning from a book. Additionally, there were leadership roles that require life-long training. For example, according to the Lakota worldview, babies and children instilled with cultural teachings can help them to live a balanced, healthy, happy and productive life and ultimately can lead to becoming a wise and strong Elder. Tribal Elders were often seen as the family and community leaders.
The Office of Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention Tribal Youth Training and Technical Assistance Center provides culturally appropriate, trauma-informed and developmentally appropriate training, resources, information and other related technical assistance to all OJJDP Tribal Programs grantees and federally recognized tribes across the nation. The OJJDP Tribal Youth Training and Technical Assistance Center has developed culturally specific training and technical assistance for tribes seeking to build capacity to develop, expand, improve and maintain their juvenile justice systems. Priority areas include juvenile healing to wellness courts, tribal youth specific prevention, intervention, and treatment programming and tribal-state collaborations to meet the needs of American Indian/Alaska Native children exposed to violence.
The staff at the Tribal Youth Resource Center welcomes the opportunity to work with tribal programs in the coming years. With a wide range of skills and experiences in trauma informed care, cultural based teachings, community participatory evaluation, as well as mental health, law enforcement, suicide prevention, judicial expertise, child welfare, juvenile justice, tribal-state-federal relations, and tribal sovereignty, our staff is well equipped to provide a high level of technical assistance and training. As part of the many programs and services available through the Tribal Law and Policy Institute, we are fortunate to have the extensive infrastructure to support our efforts. Our center is commited to providing culturally relevant and trauma-informed principles in our delivery of services to the OJJDP tribal grantees and the other tribes who seek our services.