News and Insights

Generation Indigenous: Why Native American Youth Can't Wait

08/19/2016

Edgar Villanueva, Native Americans in Philanthropy | Like other youth of color, Native American and Alaska Natives in cities and communities across the United States face challenges. Natives Americans have endured a history of racism and colonialism that has resulted in multi-generational trauma. Suicide is the second-leading cause of death among Native youth between the ages of 15 and 24 — and that rate is two and a half times the national average. Native youth are five times more likely to end up in the criminal justice system than whites, where they receive disproportionately harsher sentences, and are more likely to be killed by police than any other racial group. Moreover, Native Americans are often categorized in data and reports as "statistically insignificant" or "other," erasing their very existence as a disadvantaged minority. As a result, too many programs, policies, and systems — not to mention philanthropy — ignore or overlook them. I urge philanthropy to see the tremendous potential in our Native communities. And I extend an invitation to all grantmakers to join us at the White House on August 26 for Generation Indigenous: Raising Impact With Innovation and Proven Strategies, where we will seek to engage the philanthropic community in a dialogue about expanding support for Native youth. more »