This Year's Project: Revitalizing Native Culture through Our Youth
About Our Organization
Established in 2018 as a 501c3 non-profit organization, the goal and mission of Urban Native Center is to provide individual and community services that include cultural, spiritual, educational, and behavioral support to Native community members in Siouxland, serving Nebraska, Iowa, and South Dakota. The vision of Urban Native Center is: To provide a continuum of community support that includes cultural, spiritual, education, and behavioral support, transportation, and basic needs for overall wellness. As a result of services and resources, UNC impacts the lives of 2,500 people each year. Located at 1501 Geneva Street in Sioux City, UNC offers a community center location that is safe and welcoming for programming, gatherings, events, and cultural ceremonies. Siouxland Human Investment Partnership (SHIP) serves as the fiscal agent and employer of record (EOR) for UNC in all its endeavors.
UNC serves as an inter-tribal resource for over thirty represented Tribes in the region, with four primary local Tribes including Omaha, Ponca, Santee, and Winnebago. UNC actively works to coordinate with those specific Tribes for the provisions of training and consultation on issues related to service coordination. The Center is a multicultural resource for the Siouxland community for both Native and non-Native community members. UNC offers:
• Shuttle Service: Daily shuttle services Monday through Friday at 9am and 12pm to Winnebago Twelve Clans Hospital for urban Natives to address health needs.
• Youth Council and Youth Cultural Activities: In addition to regular youth council meetings, weekly youth group is held to include mentoring, study support, and cultural activities. After youth group, young men ages 16-17 stay and learn drum and song.
• Parenting Education: The Fatherhood is Sacred and Motherhood is Sacred curriculum is delivered in collaboration with Elder/community-based advocate, Terry Medina, several times per year.
• Talking Circle: An open Talking Circle is held one evening per week.
• Drum Group & Song: This activity occurs weekly on Sundays open to youth and adults.
• Community Gatherings: The Center serves as a gathering place for memorials, wakes, and funerals, community meals, support groups, open houses, resource fairs, and events. It also serves as a safe location for supervised visitation and family interactions for DHS-involved families by request.
• Support Groups: A foster parent support group occurs monthly at the Center with activities for the children while foster parents participate in the support group.
• Celebrations: The Center is regularly scheduled for an array of cultural and/or family events. Examples include naming celebrations, birthdays, and graduation.
Current Project: Revitalizing Native Culture through Our Youth
Urban Native Center (UNC) is requesting support for youth programming to increase capacity to serve additional school aged, Siouxland urban Native youth. When youth programming began in 2021, UNC started serving 10 children. Currently over 60 children are actively engaging in youth programming. UNC has designed its youth programming based on the youth-driven feedback of the UNC Youth Council and current youth and families. UNC exists to address disproportionate education, child welfare, health, and well-being for urban Native youth and families in Siouxland. Through culturally responsive services and resources, UNC is empowering Native Resilient Communities.
Revitalizing Native Culture through Youth is designed to invest in school-age inter-tribal youth in the tri-state area of Nebraska, Iowa, and South Dakota and embracing the four Tribal communities in the region. Youth Programming includes student study evenings, cultural and spiritual practices/ celebrations, recreational activities, leadership development, youth empowerment, and mentoring.
The goal of services is to provide cultural teachings to the youth, educational support for academic achievement, leadership development through the Youth Council, community engagement in positive Siouxland activities, and learning of cultural identity. Youth have the opportunity to learn about their history to identify who they are and where they come from.
Support from the 2022 Big Give will result in:
· Youth programming to an additional 20 youth at the Urban Native Center
· Registration for up to five youth and mentors to attend the 2022 National Congress of American Indians Conference to promote youth leadership development