Description of original award (Fiscal Year 2022, $499,802)
The Saginaw Chippewa Indian Tribe of Michigan (SCIT) is planting seeds of change and growth through Project Venture programming and enhancing services offered to increase protective factors and reduce risk factors for delinquency and substance abuse in tribal youth, through tribal youth programming that is comprehensive, collaborative, and culturally relevant. These funds will plant new seeds of growth in the lives of our tribal youth through enhanced services to harvest healthier lifestyles and choices for them. SCIT, led by Anishnaabeg Child and Family Services (ACFS) grant funded Youth Project Coordinator, will develop an enhanced Digital Storytelling and Learning Ojibwe Youth Program based on Project Venture Program (PVP) principles. The PVP is recognized by the National Registry of Effective Programs and Practices (NREPP) and Center for Substance Abuse Prevention (CSAP) as an Evidence Based Program for prevention of alcohol and substance abuse for Native American youth. The program has been adopted by tribes around the United States, and successfully adapted to each tribe’s cultural traditions and needs. Project Venture focuses on American Indian cultural values and builds a positive environment through thinking activities, speaking/language and incorporating traditional values. The current SCIT Project Venture Program serves Native American youth ages 12-17. After a year in the program, participants are allowed to become “service staff,” or peer leaders for subsequent years. ACFS is excited to spring forth new Lifeways and Hope in tribal youth children through nurturing them, working closely with school staff, parents, elders, volunteers, and tribal departments to develop, enhance, and implement a higher learning experience with enhanced after-school digital computer equipment, recording equipment, study tools, learning software, and dedicated tutoring time in addition to continued other outdoor camping outings, and adventures of the program. As Tribal Elders are vital in sharing stories and teachings for the recorded collections to be created, traditional knowledge and sacred teaching must be conveyed, preserved and carried forward through the upcoming generations.