A week-long summit for American Indian and Alaska Native leaders took place this week in various locations in Washington, D.C. More than 200 American Indian and Alaska Native youth and adult leaders from more than 50 tribal communities across the United States participated in the summit, which ended Aug. 2.
At the summit, tribal youth were able to discuss issues affecting them in their communities, and officials from the Obama Administration were given the opportunity to hear about the issues directly from the tribal community.
“This summit is an opportunity for those of us in Washington to hear directly from youth as representatives of their tribes,” said Acting Associate Attorney General Tony West. “The choices that young leaders make will help define the future of their tribal nations. Working together, we can develop solutions to the challenges that they, their families and their peers face each day.”
Summit participants were given the opportunity to hone leadership skills through discussions with tribal leaders and field experts on cultural values and community-based solutions. Officials from the Departments of Justice, Interior, Health and Human Services and Education also participated in the discussions with the young tribal community.
The Youth Summit initiative was created by the Justice Department as a way to promote community involvement in public safety activities in tribal communities, the Justice Department said, following requests from tribal leaders to create culturally appropriate programs on prevention, early intervention, treatment, rehabilitation and reentry programs for tribal community members.
This year’s summit coincided with the second anniversary of President Barack Obama’s signing of the Tribal Law and Order Act into law.