The Ninijanisag Drum Group from the Ain Dah Yung Center was a moving highlight from last year’s memorial service. We are thrilled that they will be returning this year and will open the service.
Ain Dah Yung, which means “Our Home” in the Ojibwe language, is a culturally based organization whose mission is to strengthen American Indian youth and families.
Ain Dah Yung has been serving the community since 1991 and their programs include an emergency shelter (for youth ages 5-17), a transitional living program for youth ages 16-21 (the Beverly A. Benjamin Youth Lodge), a family counseling and mental health services program (Oyate Nawajin), and a street outreach program.
The Ninijanisag (Our Children) Program was launched in 1993 to combat the strikingly high rates of violence, chemical use and abuse, suicide, and other self-compromising behaviors among American Indian youth.
Ninijanisag teaches youth ages 10-21 problem-solving, leadership, and communication skills in a community and cultural context.
Traditional American Indian cultural activities are offered weekly and include drum and dance, sweat lodge, traditional crafts, and traditional talking circles.
Leadership opportunities include public speaking, mentoring, and planning community cultural events. The long-term impact of Ninijanisag is to provide American Indian youth with cultural and community connections to sustain them and deter them from substance abuse, crime, violent behaviors, suicidal ideations, and other self compromising behaviors.