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2017 Native Summit Recap

Boys & Girls Clubs of America's 2017 Native Summit was held November 14-16 in Fort Myers, Florida, and marked the celebration of 25 years of Native Clubs! Organized by the Native Services Unit, Native Club staff came from all over to participate in the Summit, share in each other’s culture, and attend informational breakout sessions.

The celebration started with the presentation of tribal flags by a representative of each tribe. It marked the first of many special moments and was a great way to kick off the event. It was the perfect way to symbolize the diversity within the room while creating a sense of unity among the group. The opening celebration included remarks from the Chair of the Seminole Tribe of Florida, the President of the Navajo Nation, the Principal Chief of the Cherokee Nation and a cultural performance from the Mississippi Band of Choctaw Boys & Girls Club Youth.

General sessions were held each morning and afternoon of the Summit. Speakers at these sessions included prominent partners and ambassadors of Native Clubs. At the morning general session on the second day the national Native Spirit Award was proudly presented to Angela DiCicco from the Boys & Girls Clubs of Greater Scottsdale. Read more about the Native Spirit Award national and regional winners here!

If the Native Spirit Award was not excitement enough, the same session included Native American Actor Martin Sensmeier who spoke on the opportunity that Boys & Girls Clubs offer to Native youth and why it is so important to him to be an ambassador for the Clubs. Other general sessions allowed participants to hear from Boys & Girls Clubs in Indian Country’s corporate and federal partners. The partners that shared at the event included Nike N7, Walmart, Andra Rush and Federal Agencies such as Indian Health Services (IHS), Office of Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention (OJJDP), Corporation for National and Community Service (CNCS), and the Bureau of Indian Education (BIE). To wrap up general sessions, Dr. Katherine Campbell of the Bureau of Indian Education spoke on the importance of the BIE working with Native Clubs and finished with the ceremonial signing of a Memorandum of Agreement between the BIE and Boys & Girls Clubs in Indian Country.

Each day of the Native Summit consisted of breakout sessions which included topics such as programming, finance, grant management, marketing, culture and more. After the breakout sessions, participants had the opportunity to visit the exhibitors. The exhibitors included 501(c) Services, National Congress of American Indians (NCAI), Sport Court, SMARTfit, and others.

The Cultural Night Social held the second night of the Native Summit showcased the variety of Native cultures that were represented and allowed everyone to experience Native music, dancing, and the opportunity to participate in cultural practices different from their own. Overall, the Native Summit was a major success for Boys & Girls Clubs of America's Native Services and offered great opportunities for all who attended. Thank you to all who helped out and attended the event and be sure to keep a lookout for the announcement of details for the next Native Summit!

Click here to view and download photos from the event. 

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BGCA Native Services Unit
Dallas Service Center
2107 N. Collins Boulevard
Richardson, TX 75080

Direct: 972-581-2374
E-mail: BGCANS@BGCA.ORG