Ain Dah Yung

Focus Area: Youth Development

Grant Amount: $10,000

Located in St. Paul. The Ain Dah Yung Center, “our home” in Ojibwe, is an American Indian-led emergency shelter for runaway and homeless American Indian youth. Established in 1983, ADYC’s mission is to provide a healing place within the community for American Indian youth and families to thrive in safety and wholeness. Using traditional Native beliefs as a starting point, ADYC provides a broad spectrum of culturally relevant and cost-effective social services to youth and their families.

Grant supports operating the cultural elements of ADYC’s year-round youth program, Ninijanisag, “our children” in Ojibwe. In particular, the funding will go to help prepare youth ages 8-10 to lead and participate in the organization’s 2022 pow-wow. Children will learn history, drumming, dancing, and the creation of regalia beginning in September, then continue over 13 sessions leading to the event in February. These cultural learnings are a way of healing from historical trauma that has led to a high rate of suicide among Native youth. Youth will participate in the program while their families are in emergency shelter, and many continue to attend even after their families leave the shelter.