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Youth group for Native Americans growing in numbers

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Native Youth Standing Strong on Sioux City KTIV Channel 4


SIOUX CITY, Iowa (KTIV) -

There's no denying that pride and tradition run deep in Native American culture. A group in Sioux City makes sure young people are a part of it.

"It's flourishing, it's growing," said Deena Baker.

Baker is a member of the Navajo Winnebago Tribe and "Native Youth Standing Strong."

"Restore principles and values in the importance of your culture," said Baker.

NYSS has recently started meeting every week, with several dozen people showing up to each session.

Juvenile Court Services is a partner in the program, working to better serve Native American youth.

"In the past, we have not as a system, worked real well or as well as we could have with the Native people," said Woodbury County juvenile probation officer Will Meier.

Tuesday night's gathering was a chance to improve that.

"By coming together, we understand where we need to get a little better," said Meier.

With more than 10,000 Native Americans within two hours of Sioux City, they're a real part of the population. And just like any population, some kids need direction, which NYSS hopes to help them achieve.

"If a kid's feeling good about himself, he's probably doing good things," said Meier.

NYSS gives them a knowledge of their culture and so much more.

"All I have is my spirit and I'm here to give it away. I'm here to help and I'm here for my people," said Baker.

NYSS meets every Tuesday at 4:00, at the Four Directions Community Center, on Water St. in downtown Sioux City. Organizers say everyone is welcome.

Native Youth Gathering

Native Youth Standing Strong in the Iowa, Nebraska and South Dakota Tri-State Area


Dear Community Member;

The Native Youth Standing Strong Program would like to personally invite you to our gathering of Native Youth and community members from the tri-state area. The program is collaboration between the Native American Community, Sioux City School District, Four Directions Community Center, Juvenile Court Services, Department of Human Services, Goodwill Industries, Big Brothers Big Sisters, and Counseling and Support Services. Invited attendees include City Council Members, Judges, Department of Human Service Workers, School personnel, Juvenile Probation Officers, Police Officers, and Tribal Council Members from the Winnebago, Omaha, Santee, Ponca, and Yankton Tribes, and all community members from the tri-state area.

The purpose of the weekly gathering is to support the Native Youth in our community by coming together in order to celebrate the success of the Native Youth Standing Strong Program and to collaborate on building a positive and healthy future for our Native young people. It is our hope at the Native Youth Standing Strong program is our community “coming together” in the tri-state area will be truly Standing Strong.

The gathering is every Tuesday, 4:00 p.m.
Four Directions Community Center
613 Water Street, Sioux City, Iowa.

NYSS Committee Members are Chris Denny, Theresa Henry, Tracey Henry, Jonathan Longsoldier, Tonya Meier and Will Meier

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Gathering of Native Youth and community members from the tri-state area.

Every Tuesday, 4:00 p.m.
Four Directions Community Center
613 Water Street, Sioux City, Iowa.

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