Keeping Language Alive with a Fundraising Project

There are no fluent speakers of the Wiyot Tribe’s language alive today. According to the tribe’s Web site, a great deal of language documentation has been compiled, from written samples dating from the late 1800s, to audio recordings from the 1960s. Listen to some of those audio recordings online, and read more about the Wiyot language and culture.

In collaboration with Lynnika Butler, the Language Manager of the Wiyot Tribe, two VISTA members serving the Table Bluff Reservation in Humboldt County, CA have started a fundraiser for the local Boys & Girls Club that also supports efforts to preserve the Wiyot language. The VISTA members are selling locally roasted, organic coffee from Humboldt Bay Coffee Company in mugs printed with the word siswelhi, the Wiyot word for coffee. Interested in purchasing a siswelhi mug for yourself? Call the main number on the Wiyot Tribe’s website and ask for VISTA member Kaitlin Carney. Kaitlin hopes other staff and volunteers serving at Native Boys & Girls Clubs will organize similar fundraisers after reading this article. She said, “It was so easy to get this started. Humboldt Bay Coffee Company helps lots of organizations within the area to start small fundraisers.”

All of the proceeds from the sales go to benefit activities for youth and Elders on the Table Bluff Reservation. The Boys & Girls Club site there is in progress while Kaitlin and a co-VISTA member help the tribe through the process of establishing an official Club.


Cultivating Culture with the Boys & Girls Club of Lower Brule

Integrating culture into programming can be a challenging task for busy Native Clubs. It is a challenge that the Boys & Girls Club of Lower Brule, located in Lower Brule, SD, has taken head on. In fact, culture is central to both programming and their organization as a whole.

“We integrate culture in a variety of ways from playing Lakota Bingo to making Wasnai during cooking experiences in the T.R.A.I.L. program,” the Club’s Chief Professional Officer Tonya Derdall said. “We are blessed with a staff that has a working knowledge of the culture and are willing to share with the next generation.”


Oklahoma Native Clubs Learn How to State their Case

Workshops are always a great opportunity for Club professionals to continue learning how to advance the mission of their Club. The NSU holds several training opportunities throughout the year to provide these opportunities on topics that specifically relate to Native Clubs.

Earlier this fall, CPOs from Native Boys & Girls Clubs across Oklahoma participated in a workshop led by Carla Knapp, the newly named National Director of the NSU. In this two-day training, participants learned how to write an effective case statement. Why? To demonstrate to their local communities and national audiences why their existence is so important.

Knapp talked about four key elements that build a compelling case statement:

  1. The need of youth in the community
  2. How Club programs impact that need
  3. What the Club’s results are
  4. The Club’s mission and vision – where have you been, where you are, and where you are going, and what it will take to get there

Three Native Clubs Receive BGCA Award for Impressive Club Attendance

This year at the Southwest Leadership Conference, three Native Clubs were honored with the Gateway to Impact Silver Award. This award is given to Clubs that have made important strides to increase their average daily attendance (ADA) and capacity utilization.

Boys & Girls Club of Durant, Boys & Girls Club of Nowata, and Boys & Girls Clubs of Delaware County all received this award this year for their work in these categories. The Boy s & Girls Club of Durant reached an ADA of 150 members, and their total membership by the end of August was 464 youth, nearly reaching their goal of 480. Maintaining such high membership allows these three Clubs to reach even more youth with their cornerstone programs, such as the OJP Federal Mentoring Grant.

The Boys & Girls Club of Nowata accepted their award at the Southwest Leadership Conference from BGCA President Jim Clark. Director of Organizational Development for the Boys & Girls Club of America Native Services Carla Knapp recognized all three Clubs during the Oklahoma Area Council State Alliance Meeting to showcase their great work.

Photo – The Boys & Girls Club of Nowata proudly accepts their Gateway to Impact Award at the Southwest Leadership Conference.


Keeping Youth Active with Sports Leagues

Keeping our youth motivated to exercise and be active can be a challenge, but the Boys & Girls Club of Tahlequah has been doing so for 12 years. Through various community partnerships, this Club is able to keep many community youth active with their fun and engaging athletic programs.

“The Boys & Girls Club of Tahlequah is basically the Parks & Recreation for the whole community,” said the Club’s Chief Executive Officer, Dennis Kelley.

With tackle football as the longest standing athletic program at 12 years, the Club has had basketball for 11 years, and swimming, baseball, flag football and youth wrestling for almost 9 years. All of the programs allow ages 12 years and under to participate, aside from swimming, which allows all ages through high school to join.

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For more information, read about the BGCA Native Services Unit team members and how to contact
them individually.

BGCA Mentoring

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Contact Us

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

Direct: 972-581-2374