Youth Leadership & the Future Generations
There is no easy answer to the present state of Native America and our youth.
We know that incarceration rates for Native youth are around seven times those for non-Native youth in similar areas. We know that there is a 70% rate of diabetes among youth in Native America. We are deeply aware that our rate of suicide among our Native youth is at least ten times the national average. And we know that the economic situation of most reservation communities, where per capita income averages $3,500 a year, is not projected to improve and many youth feel trapped when considering their future. We know that more youth are attending tribal colleges than ever before, but when they graduate, there is not a clear place for them in their communities. We know that the youth population is moving increasingly into urban areas, and that the future leadership of our rural communities is in question.
We are deeply interested in nurturing youth to participate in a hopeful, peaceful green energy economy in Native America. At the core of Honor the Earth’s overall Youth Leadership Initiative is our interest in creating the next generation of environmental justice and sustainability leaders in Native America. This is a generation whose work will be founded on a relationship both to traditional teachings and a critical knowledge of renewable technologies and a green economy.