CHEI Programs

Mapping Project

Video Project

Substance Abuse Prevention

Board / Staff

Photo Gallery

Athabascan Values


Contact us! 

sends mail to CHEI


Youth Education & Substance Abuse Prevention Programs

CHEI not only wants to restore the Old village, but also to revitalize New Minto in terms of youth programs and education. Minto has an unemployment rate between 85 - 90% and continues to struggle with alcohol-related problems and deaths. It can be difficult growing up in a rural community and understanding the values of both traditional native and "mainstream" non-native cultures. Not having a strong connection with ones cultural heritage and community can lead to low self-esteem. This in conjunction with too much free time can lead to experimentation with, and the use or abuse of, substances. 

Furthermore, even though Minto is a "dry" community, alcohol is prevalent and a 1992 needs survey showed that half of the children, in Minto, were exposed to alcohol related problems at home. This is why CHEI devotes much energy into continuing present after school programs and initiating new programs to occupy students with challenging, fun activities that teach them to lead healthy and sober lives. Planned Activities focus on community participation, increased parental participation, and whenever possible, emphasis on Athabascan skills.

Healthy, fun activities for Minto youths

Programs in effect today include:

  • The Minto "Lakers" Basketball team. This basketball team was started in 1991, after CHEI received a grant for after school activities. In 1995 the Lakers earned the regional statewide championships and went on to take the state 2A basketball championship in 1996.
  • The Minto Dance Troupe has also been a successful activity. Dancers are taught songs by the Elders, and sing music while performing their dances. The dance troupe has been seen at the Festival of Native Arts, the Eskimo Olympics, the Alaska Federation of Natives Convention and school appearances . They have performed many dances including: The Athabascan Twist, the Raven, and the Porcupine dance. 
  • The Athabascan Names and Places Map, described in the programs section, is a very important project. This project not only occupies the time of students, it challenges them to work with new technology i.e. Computer and CD-ROM, it provokes interest in their culture by the very nature of identifying historical sites, and most importantly it gives each individual an opportunity to be more involved with the Elders. As students and Elders locate and mark each place, the personal time spent in the Old area and the stories that accompany these outings are priceless. Stories - passed on by word of mouth - Elder to youth - generation to generation - This is part of the Athabascan way of life.





Comments or Suggestions? Please contact CHEI.