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Youth Initiatives

group of kids standing in from of mural of native american woman


SNAHC strongly promotes the need to support American Indian Youth and Families with quality services and advocacy that place a high regard on cultural values.

SNAHC’s Youth Initiatives program focuses on providing programs or advocacy focused in the four areas

  • Red Vision II– Provides resources to fund youth substance abuse prevention activities with goals of decreasing underage drinking and substance abuse for American Indian Youth
  • Native Wellness Youth Initiatives (NYWI)– Provides resources to fund the Gathering of Native Americans (GONA) which increases protective factors and utilizes trauma informed approaches to reduce suicide, suicidal ideation, and attempts among urban American Indian/ Alaska Native youth
  • Circles of Care (COC) – Brings the Sacramento urban American Indian community together to plan and perform an in-depth gap analysis of the systems of care impacting the mental health and wellness of American Indian children and their families.
  • Native Connections– Develop a culturally responsive model for youth programming focused on mental health promotion, suicide prevention, and substance use prevention activities.

SNAHC is excited to once again be hosting a Gathering of Native Americans (GONA) for all Native youth ages 12-21 years old living in Sacramento County! This three-day, two-night retreat will focus on youth leadership and wellness through the four teachings of belonging, mastery, interdependence, and generosity. This Youth GONA will be taking place from July 19th – 21st at the Jackson Rancheria Hotel. To view the flyer, click here.

Registration opens May 1st with limited space for 30 youth participants! All registration materials are due May 31st. To view and complete the youth registration form, click here.

SNAHC is still looking for additional Adult Chaperones and Volunteers. If you are interested in volunteering, please complete the Chaperones and Volunteer registration packet found here.

For additional question questions or concerns, please contact Val Sierra at or at (916) 341-0576 x3023.


An image of Vanessa Cuevas Romero


I am honored to participate in this meaningful work. The Youth Initiatives program and staff are committed to creating a system of care that emphasizes collaboration and considers culturally responsive approaches for Native youth.

Over the next five years, SNAHC will team up with other community members, organizations and institutions to develop a community-based system of care for American Indian/Alaskan Native (AI/AN) children with mental health challenges and their families. The Youth Initiatives program applies principles of a family-driven approach, meaning, families have a primary decision making role in the care of their own children as well as the policies and procedures governing care for all children in their community.