Source: NCAI Press Release
WASHINGTON, DC – Swinomish Tribal Chairman and President of the National Congress of American Indians (NCAI) Brian Cladoosby had the chance to meet with the Boys and Girls Clubs of America and members of the Tulalip Tribe to discuss the importance of supporting Native youth through positive youth development programs. The Boys & Girls Clubs in Indian Country serves over 85,000 Native youth in over 200 clubs nationwide in Indian country. After the meeting with Tulalip Tribe – the 6th Tribal Club – and Tulalip Chairman Mel Sheldon, President Cladoosby said:
“What an inspiration to see the incredible work of the Boys and Girls Clubs! There is nothing more important than supporting young people and encouraging them to make positive decisions. I am excited to continue working with the Clubs on bringing education, career, and healthy living choices to Native youth and the children of all communities.”
Providing opportunities for the next generation is the greatest responsibility of this generation. With that duty in mind, President Cladoosby has focused on education and Native youth in his first months at NCAI. He and the organization are committed to strengthening the partnership between NCAI and the Boys and Girls Clubs.
Boys & Girls Clubs in Indian Country began over 20 years ago and has grown dramatically ever since. Under the leadership of Brian Yazzie, the National Director of Native American Services for Boys & Girls Clubs of America, Boys & Girls Clubs offer multiple programs specific to tribal communities. These programs include the On the T.R.A.I.L. (Together Raising Awareness for Indian Life) to Diabetes Prevention Program which provides youth with tools to prevent type 2 diabetes through self-esteem and prevention activities. The T.R.A.I.L program has served nearly 12,000 Native youth in 85 tribal communities. Robbie Callaway, of FirstPic, Inc. who was instrumental in beginning the Boys & Girls Clubs in Indian Country initiative stated:
“President Cladoosby and NCAI’s support for Boys & Girls Clubs in Indian Country has the ability to help increase opportunities for Native youth across the country and create sustainable programs throughout Native communities.”
NCAI has a long history of working hand in hand with the Boys and Girls Clubs of America, including the passage of a resolution in 2004 endorsing a permanent endowment for the Boys and Girls Clubs for their work in Indian Country. FirstPic, Inc. has worked with Boys & Girls Clubs of America and NCAI throughout this initiative to implement high quality programming for Native youth. Executive Director Jacqueline Pata sits on the Native American Advisory Council for the Clubs and has made the partnership between NCAI and the Boys and Girls Clubs a priority for the organization.