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To train and develop American Indian and Alaska Native youth as peer leaders, to work within their respective communities counseling at-risk youth, focusing on reducing suicide, substance abuse and physical abuse and enhancing their quality of life.
This youth initiative initially began in 1994 as a single program consisting of adults providing workshops to Native American youth in an inter-tribal setting. As the program matured, a group of the youth participants approached leadership saying that its success could be assured if the workshops were presented by the youth. They reminded us that young people listen to other young people, not adults - we took their advice to heart. As a result, the Flying With Eagles curriculum was developed. It uses a train-the-trainer approach to influencing young people, not lecturing them, but by helping their peers to recognize potential problems and offer dialogue, options and resources.
The Peer Leader Training Program develops Native American youth as "peer counselors" and through the curriculum content of the full Flying With Eagles program they learn how to recognize signs of suicide ideation, substance abuse, and, physical and sexual abuse among their peers in their communities. They share information and discuss alternatives with those peers.