News and Press Releases



July 21, 2011
Contact: Mark E. Salter
Assistant United States Attorney

Twelve students from the Crow Creek Sioux Tribe, Lower Brule Sioux Tribe, and Standing Rock Sioux Tribe have been selected to join 150 young men and women from across the country for the week-long 2011 National Intertribal Youth Summit in Santa Fe, N.M., from July 24-28, 2011. The Summit will feature administration officials from the White House and the Departments of Justice, Interior, Health and Human Services, and Education.

U.S. Attorney Brendan V. Johnson announced today that Maria Cruz, Trevor Gray, Terri Marks and Clay Thunder Horse from the Crow Creek Sioux Tribe; Peter Delgado, Kasey Gourneau, Melana Langdeau-Thompson and Chad Long Crow from the Lower Brule Sioux Tribe; and Amanda Archambault, Aurelia Shippentower, Julian Shippentower, and Payton Tiokasin from the Standing Rock Sioux Tribe, were selected to attend the National Intertribal Youth Summit. During the Summit, the students will have the opportunity to engage with other American Indian and Alaska Native youth through special sessions targeting leadership development and critical youth issues such as healthy relationships and lifestyles, education, substance and alcohol abuse, cultural preservation, community development, and protecting the environment.

The Summit also provides an opportunity for Obama administration officials to hear directly from youth in Indian country. The administration and federal agencies have made a commitment to building healthier and safer communities through strengthened coordination and collaboration with tribal governments and partners.

“We applaud all the students joining this summit for their commitment to improving their communities,” said Attorney General Eric Holder. “Tribal governments face unique challenges, and the importance of getting our youth involved in securing a bright future for themselves, their friends, families, and neighbors can’t be overstated.”

In his work with tribal leaders, U.S. Attorney Johnson understands that South Dakota’s tribes greatly value their youth. “Our tribal communities are producing amazing young people who have great resiliency and an enormous potential to succeed. This Summit will assist them in making positive contributions to their communities,” said U.S. Attorney Johnson. Johnson will also be attending the Summit and presenting remarks on the topic of gangs in tribal communities.

Chaske Spencer, star of the Twilight movie series, and pro-golfer Notah Begay also plan to make appearances at the Summit. During the week-long session, participants will have the opportunity to create a Public Service Announcement (PSA) to run in their communities. In a special session called Voices of Youth, participants will share thoughts, concerns, and recommendations on ways to address public safety and positively impact the lives of youth across Indian country - providing a platform for honest dialogue with federal officials. Additional workshops will provide tribal youth with knowledge and skills in leadership development and strategies for achieving academic and career success.

Youth were nominated for the 2011 Summit by their tribal youth program coordinators and submitted an application to attend. The Department of Justice's Office on Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Programs (OJJDP) and the Office on Violence Against Women (OVW) made the final participant selections.

For a full schedule of events, visit:


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