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Choctaw Youth Conservation Corps

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The Mississippi Band of Choctaw Indians has always recognized the importance of involving tribal youth in tribal programs in order to build them up as the future of the tribe. Back in the 1970s, a youth conservation program was developed with assistance from the state of Mississippi to incorporate a trails system in a tribally significant site known as Nanih Waiya, the location of the “Mother Mound” of the Mississippi Band of Choctaw Indians. Due to unknown reasons, this youth program phased out shortly after creation. Fortunately, with a funding opportunity through the RESTORE Act (created as a result from the offshore oil spill in the U.S. Gulf Coast in 2010), a multi-departmental program was implemented to re-establish the Choctaw Youth Conservation Corps (CYCC) program. Nanih Waiya was again the focus of this grant opportunity due to the fact that Nanih Waiya consists of the headwaters of the Pearl River, which leads down to the Gulf of Mexico.

The Choctaw Youth Conservation Corps is an exciting comprehensive youth program that will provide tribal youth work-based opportunities in the field of environmental conservation, natural resources management, and related aspects of the outdoor professional study through a 4-week long summer project that strengthens the protection, conservancy, and maintenance of natural resources on the Choctaw tribal lands, with an emphasis on the preserving cultural significant locations, such as Nanih Waiya. Participants assist with actual natural resources management work tasks, participate daily in hands-on activities in order to build on tribal stewardship and appreciation for our tribal natural resources and participate in educational, cultural and environmental learning taught by tribal, state and federal researchers and professionals.