OJJDP Tribal Youth National Conference
The OJJDP Tribal Youth National Conference is a gathering that offers a range of tools, resources, and general information to provide Tribes with the necessary provisions to continue to shape their youth and build up their futures. The conference brings together communities and nationally recognized experts in the fields of Tribal juvenile justice every other year to share information and promote safety and growth in Tribal communities. As the conference adapts with each year, the information presented is important for every Tribe to internalize and carry into plans for the future.
For 2021, the TYRC team was honored to host the OJJDP Tribal Youth Virtual National Conference. This year’s conference theme was “Shaping Brighter Futures with American Indian, Alaska Native Youth, and Tribal Communities – Strengthening Resilience, Promoting Healing, Restoring Culture.” The conference was coordinated and presented in partnership with the Office of Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention, Alaska Tribal youth training and technical assistance provider The Resource Basket, and the National Native Children’s Trauma Center.
While the OJJDP National Tribal Youth Conference has historically been an in-person event, the TYRC wanted to prioritize the health and safety of Tribal grantees and community members. As a result, the TYRC worked collaboratively with our partners to transition this year’s event to an online platform. This led to the first ever virtual National OJJDP Tribal Youth Conference. Although presented in a virtual conference platform, the planning team agreed that every effort would be made to offer meaningful engagement for conference attendees and to ensure that training opportunities would be presented in a culturally supportive and inclusive environment. The conference platform offered opportunities for participants to connect, engage in dialogue, and access resources to support Tribal youth and communities.
While we look forward to in-person events in the future, the planning team was astounded and encouraged by the high level of participation in this year’s conference. The event hosted a record number of Tribal and non-Tribal conference attendees from across the country. Our team and partners were honored to lift up the voices of Elders and youth throughout the week and to hear from Tribal community prevention and intervention staff working to support Tribal youth in a variety of ways. The TYRC team extends our gratitude to all conference attendees, presenters and event organizers.