/ Modified dec 4, 2014 8:53 a.m.

Feds Hope to Combat Poverty Among Native American Youth

Obama administration says money for program will come from existing funds, nonprofits.

Story by Laurel Morales
Fronteras Desk

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President Barack Obama announced Wednesday a program to help Native American youth.

The program, called Generation Indigenous, aims to prepare Native youth for careers and leadership roles. More than one-third live in poverty and about two-thirds graduate from high school.

A national tribal youth online network will provide access to peer support and link them to resources and tools.

The president and first lady were moved to start the initiative after visiting the Standing Rock Indian Reservation in the Dakotas five months ago. The White House did not say how much the program would cost but did say the administration plans to fund it with existing money and with the help of nonprofits.

The White House also released a report Wednesday acknowledging failures in federal policy when it came to helping tribes with economic development, health and education.

The report recommended strengthening tribal control of its education system.

Interior Secretary Sally Jewell said it would cost more than $1 billion to fix school buildings on tribal nations. Jewell said the administration will have to get creative to find the money to help the tribes.

The announcement of the program came during the White House Tribal Nations Conference happening this week.

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