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Strengthening Indian Country Through Tribal Youth Programs

NCJ Number
Date Published
24 pages

This report summarizes findings from an evaluation of the Tribal Youth Program (TYP), which was created in 1999 to provide Federal grants for the support and enhancement of Tribal efforts to prevent and control delinquency and improve the juvenile justice system for American Indian/Alaska Native (AI/AN) youth ages 17 and under.


The evaluation found that the TYPs focus on prevention and intervention, emphasize youth development, and build civic and life skills. They also expose youth to career-related skills that allow at-risk youth to function and succeed on and off Tribal lands. TYPs are directly and indirectly related to fewer tribal youth engaging in risky behaviors, regular youth activities held in a safe environment, and youth involvement in projects that contribute to positive community development. Youth and caring adults are brought together to facilitate youths' making informed decisions about their future, and family-oriented activities have assisted in the building of trust and healing between youth and their families. With its focus on Native culture and language, the TYP appeals to Tribal members who are committed to the renewal of Native pride through the revival and application of cultural beliefs, values, and traditions for the community's benefit. Recommendations pertain to training, technical assistance, and the use of technology; the cultivation of qualified staff from within Tribes; the development of cultural sensitivity for those in public service who work with Tribes; the maintenance of flexible measures for program reporting requirements; interagency cooperation; lowering of the indirect cost rate for grant awards; and the expansion of TYP to a general audience of Native American youth. Evaluation findings are based on site visits, focus groups, and individual interviews conducted in 2007 and 2008. Case studies are provided for five TYPs. Numerous illustrative photos; 33 references; and appended study methodology, research on Native youth, and program measures

Date Published: January 1, 2009