Native American Youth: Stop Treating Our Culture Like A Costume – UNITY, Inc.

Native American Youth: Stop Treating Our Culture Like A Costume

The following article was written by Rebecca Klein, Education Editor for The Huffington Post. The story posted on Monday, October 12, 2015 on the Huffington Post website.

Huffington Post Story 

HuffPost spoke with a dozen Native youth about their schooling, Barack Obama and those sports mascots.

Statistics regarding Native American youth in 2015 are bleak. Suicide is the second leading cause of death for Native youth aged 15-24. Natives have the lowest high school graduation rate out of every ethnic group in the country and some of the lowest standardized test scores. Rates of poverty are high.

But despite these challenges, Native American youth feel tremendous hope for the future.

The Huffington Post recently partnered with United National Indian Tribal Youth (UNITY), a national network of Native youth, for an exclusive survey of Native Americans aged 18 to 24. Nearly 40 percent of the Native population is under the age of 24, compared to 33 percent of the general population. The survey — which had 65 participants — sought to learn more about the day-to-day lives and educational experiences of a population that faces many misperceptions. We followed up with nearly a dozen of the survey respondents for longer interviews.