Serving nearly 22 tribes located within San Diego, Riverside and San Bernardino counties, InterTribal Sports (ITS) strives to unify tribal youth and communities through structured athletic programs while providing necessary resources and developing a strong foundation in culture, leadership and wellness. Over 1,800 Native youth ages 4 – 18 participate in programs specifically designed with youth development in mind. Tribal youth not only develop athletic skill year round but they also share and learn about each other’s unique cultures, language, songs, traditions and aspirations. They form friendships guided by coaches who are also positive community role models, leaders and elders in their communities. Whether it’s basketball, flag football, cheer, softball, soccer, run club, cultural or leadership gatherings, all activities operate within a structured program season that is non-profit, volunteer-oriented, and open to all tribal youth.
Based in Santa Fe, NM, Wings of America has fostered young runners in Indian Country for over 25 years. Working hand in hand with local coaches, teachers and health professionals, the organization strives to inspire dedication to sport, leadership and community engagement. From beginners to the aspiring elite, Wings believes that every runner has the potential to live a happy and healthy lifestyle defined by goal-oriented progress. Wings athletes have claimed 25 national team titles and made nearly a dozen Junior World Cross Country teams since 1988. During the summer, these impressive role models work together to coordinate a series of two-day “Running & Fitness” camps for youth ages 6-18 in Native communities across the United States.
Siksika’s First Thunder Program promotes cultural identity through sport and outdoor activities for youth. The program responds to emerging youth issues, and enables greater citizen and community participation, thereby promoting a holistic approach to helping youth. Under the program, youth organize and participate in sporting events and other outdoor activities with support and guidance from the program team. This allows the young people to learn discipline, setting and following through on goals, developing new social skills and strengthens their self-esteem.