December 9, 2011

Celebrating 10 years of helping children

Celebrating 10 years of helping children
By Jerry W. Kram

Fort Berthold can be a hard place to be a young person. But for the last 10 years, an organization of volunteers has been trying to make the reservation a place where young people can thrive and create a better future for themselves and their communities. That group is the Three Affiliated Tribes Boys and Girls Club.
The Club celebrated its 10th anniversary at the Northern Lights Building in New Town last Wednesday. Youth from every part of the reservation came together to show what the club had done for them and how it enables them to contribute back to the community. Musicians from White Shield and dancers from Mandaree and performers from across the reservation provided entertainment. As the club looks to the future, it also honors the past by supporting traditional languages, music and dance along with programs for academics, sports, healthy living, tutoring, computer skills, science and nature and career and character development.
El Marie Conklin was there at the beginning. She, along with other speakers during the evening, spoke about Jarret Baker and the other founders who got the program started back in 2001. Conklin said Baker ran a drug prevention program in the 1990s but saw a need for a bigger, more comprehensive program that could give young people a place to belong as well as providing more services and recreational opportunities.

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