Interior Department announces funding for Indigenous youth programs in Arizona

By Gabriel Pietrorazio
Published: Monday, September 11, 2023 - 5:53pm
Updated: Friday, October 20, 2023 - 3:51pm

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Coverage of tribal natural resources is supported in part by Catena Foundation

Al Macias/KJZZ
The Wood for Life project is helping Arizona forests while also providing fuel for Native American communities in several other western states.

The Interior Department announced on Monday new federal grants that may give Indigenous youth public service opportunities on federal and tribal lands in Arizona. 

The Indian Youth Service Corps, developed by Interior Secretary Deb Haaland, aims to engage the next generation in conservation, natural resource management and climate resilience. Her agency disbursed $3.5 million to eight tribal-led projects across Indian Country, three of which directly apply to Arizona.

Navajo and Hopi youth may partake in forestry-related efforts through a $1 million grant to support Wood for Life, a program run by the Ancestral Lands Conservation Corps in Arizona, New Mexico, Utah and Colorado. 

Another $300,000 has been allocated to form a Hopi youth corps to preserve its reservation’s cultural landscape. Plus, nearly $50,000 was set aside to fund the Intergenerational Natural Resources Youth Summer Camp for 12 tribal communities surrounding the Coronado National Forest.

The Hopi Reservation is home to more than 1.5 million acres
Gabriel Pietrorazio/KJZZ
The Hopi Reservation is home to more than 1.5 million acres.