Youth group for Native Americans growing in numbers
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.