The Ponca Tribe of Nebraska Tribal Youth Program (TYP) is dedicated to providing services for Native American youth designed to encourage positive lifestyles by instilling traditional values, raising cultural awareness and promoting overall well-being through the reconnection of community, family & spirit in a healthy way.

For a youth to participate in the TYP, the youth must be enrolled or eligible to be enrolled in a federally recognized tribe, under the age of 19 and currently living in the Service Delivery Area. Please note: Project Venture and Tribal Youth Reconnection will have different eligibility requirements.

Project Venture

(PV) is an outdoor, experiential youth development program designed for 5th- to 8th-grade Native American youth. The curriculum encourages the strength-based approach to help enhance positive decision-making skills in order to help youth resist substance abuse. Relying on traditional Native American values such as family, learning from the natural world, spiritual awareness and service to others are integral to the success of the program. Project Venture includes weekly after-school, weekend, and summer outdoor activities, including gardening, hiking, biking, horseback riding, camping as well as community-oriented service learning and service leadership projects throughout the year.

Children In Need of Supervision (CHINS)

Addresses the difficult issues of “children in need of supervision” and their families and design a system to provide needed services to keep Native American Youth from becoming involved in criminal acts and juvenile delinquency. It is open to Native American Youth 18 and under who are involved in “status offenses” (such as truancy, running away, non-compliance at home, etc.) or are “at risk” of being or have been arrested, on probation, paroled, or are currently being detained for non-compliance issues. CHINS Specialists monitor and assist youth through home visits and any other contacts to ensure the Youth are complying with any court directed sanctions/orders and their Reconnection Plans. This includes partnerships with local schools, law enforcement officials, Ponca Tribe behavioral health specialists, juvenile diversion programs, victim assistance programs, youth mentoring programs and treatment facilities that support of youth who are developing the skills to stay out of the criminal system. Youth develop a culturally relevant “Reconnection Plan” and participate in activities that focus on his/her strengths and positive contributions from his/her cultural heritage to ensure that they are given the opportunity to “reconnect” to the community, family and their spirit in a healthy way.

Tribal Youth Reconnection

(TYR) will work with 14-18-year-old, at-risk, Native American youth to help the youth and their families reconnect to their tribal culture by carrying out a reconnection plan created by Children in Need of Supervision Intake Specialists (ChINS) and help youth and families better understand the impact of historical trauma in their lives. Through TYR, Tribal Youth Reconnection Coordinators in Norfolk, Lincoln, and Sioux City will lead weekly activities such as hiking, exploration of the youth’s tribe’s history and traditions, and a yearly camping trip, to help Native youth develop a better understanding of traditional tribal ways, their tribal history and culture, and a better appreciation for the outdoors.

Contact Information

Lincoln: 402-438-9222
Norfolk: 402-371-8834