Youth Council Addresses Serious Problems in Michigan


Sarah Schilling, of the Little Traverse Bay Bands of Odawa Indians, is one of five 2013 Champions for Change chosen by the Center for Native American Youth. The 18-year-old is a recent high school graduate from Charlevoix, Michigan who was inspired by her participation and the youth-based efforts at a National Congress of American Indians conference to create her tribes’ first youth council back in 2009.

To create the council, Schilling worked with the tribal council, her peers, and youth programs in the community to organize and create their own constitution, bylaws and a code of conduct. The youth council became affiliated with the United National Indian Tribal Youth (UNITY) organization.

Under Schilling’s leadership, the youth council has hosted youth retreats, talking circles and other events to address underage drinking prevention, anti-bullying and suicide prevention. As a junior advisor, she engages younger students and encourages them to make a positive transition into new leadership roles...

Resource Type

Schilling, Vincent. "Youth Council Addresses Serious Problems in Michigan." Indian Country Today Media Network. March 31, 2013. Article. ( accessed February 22, 2023)

Related Resources

A Solution: Sowing the future for tribal youth

For aspiring farmer, Vernal Sam, 24, the physical labor came easily. Like many Tohono O'odham, he'd helped out on his uncle's cattle ranch as a kid, bringing in cash when his family needed it, and he'd helped his grandfather bury traditional tepary beans and squash seeds in the brown clay soil.…


Satsan (Herb George), President of the National Centre for First Nation Governance, talks about the importance of involving youth in Nation Rebuilding.

Aboriginal Youth Entrepreneurship: Success Factors and Challenges

Aboriginal people (First Nations, Métis and Inuit) and their communities in the north face many obstacles and challenges. There are, however, tremendous opportunities to promote and enhance Aboriginal participation in the economy. Aboriginal youth entrepreneurs are key to building a healthy…