Native Youth Futures

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Native Youth Futures - Financially Independent is a teen asset building project is designed to present permanent and sustainable solutions to intergenerational poverty and lack of economic opportunities. MIGIZI Communications will recruit 150 low-income American Indian youth from across Minnesota, ages 14-21, providing them with the asset-generating opportunities and supports needed to prepare them to become financially-independent adults.

These students will:

  • Undergo work readiness training and be placed in paid internship opportunities in high-growth, high-demand careers;
  • Save earnings for college in an Individual Development Account which will be matched 4:1 through program funds;
  • Receive financial literacy training, mentorship and 21st Century Skills development opportunities;

The project’s main partners include:

  • AchieveMpls, who will provide workforce training and internship placement for American Indian youth participants through the STEP-UP Achieve youth employment program over the five-year course of the project; and
  • Woodlands National Bank, owned by the Mille Lacs Band of Ojibwe, who will administer youth IDA savings accounts, wherein students will have their savings matched 8:1 to be used for higher education expenses. Woodlands is the primary banking institution serving the urban American Indian community in Minneapolis.

Native Youth Futures - Financially Independent responds directly to the needs identified and vision created out of a two-year strategic planning process facilitated by the Native American Community Development Institute (NACDI) and involving hundreds of Minneapolis American Indian community members of all ages. The document created from this process: American Indian Community Blueprint: Building a 21st Century American Indian Community, articulates a vision of a vibrant healthy and balanced community where there are economic opportunities for American Indian people.

For more information about this project, contact John Gwinn, Project Director at 612-721-6631 x 222. Inquiries via e-mail can be sent to

Links About previous Native Youth Futures Programming:Native Youth Future Intern

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