Center aims to boost lives of young Indians

By Matthew Daly
Washington (AP) March 2011

Young Native Americans commit suicide at a rate more than three times the national average. Now a private program has been created to focus on improving the lives of young Indians.

The Washington-based Center for Native American Youth is a new initiative of the Aspen Institute, a think tank based in Washington and Colorado.

The center is underwritten by a $1 million donation from former North Dakota Sen. Byron Dorgan, who retired in January after three decades in Congress. Dorgan, a Democrat, chaired the Senate Indian Affairs Committee and led efforts to increase funds for a range of programs to benefit Native Americans.

Dorgan, now a policy adviser at a Washington law firm, said money for the institute was transferred from excess campaign donations.