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. The cultural elements of the program are a key strategy for suicide prevention, which is a major issue for Native youth. Youth enter the programs while their families are in emergency shelter, and many continue to attend even after their families leave the shelter. The program uses Ecological Systems Theory, which looks at an individual’s relationships within community, a model that fits well with Native culture.