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Our Programs

“It is so important to expose Indian youth to other cultures and territories outside their own. Most of our youth are stuck on their own reservations; to travel from our territory to the Pacific and the Sierra Mountains was a huge growing experience for our youth.”                      - O. Lyons, Onondaga Nation

Councils of the Traditional Circle of Indian Elders and Youth

The annual International Elders & Youth Councils provide a forum for consideration of issues involving and affecting indigenous peoples.  The issues are clarified and discussed, and the combined wisdom and experience of the group is utilized in seeking responses and solutions.  Responses may involve direct or indirect action by the group or by individual members.  A response may be simply the articulation of a moral position which then becomes an important tool in the hands of individual members.

The American Indian Institute is the sole source of financial and administrative support for the Traditional Circle of Elders and Youth.  The top priority of the Institute is to help facilitate the annual councils and other gatherings of the Elders Circle by disseminating information, assisting the host community with food and lodging arrangements, arranging travel for key Elders and youth, and finding funding for the events each year.

The support of the Traditional Circle is given freely with no strings or limitations.  It is understood that the goal is the welfare of traditional Indian people first, and the welfare of all people through the joint effort of the two partners second.  Neither side dishonors that goal.

Following many of the past annual Councils since the first in 1977, the Elders have issued a written communique on topics of concern that were discussed at the gathering.  To read the Communiques click here. To support the Traditional Circle of Indian Elders and Youth please view our help page

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