Fresh Tracks Project Creates Cross Cultural Exchange for Native and Urban Youth

In August 2016, 16 young people from Los Angeles and Alaska will have the unique opportunity to get to know one another’s environments and culture through an exchange program called Fresh Tracks.

The program will provide participants with outdoor experiences, leadership skills, a sense of responsibility for protecting their public lands, and an appreciation of each others’ cultures. Youth from urban Los Angeles and Native Youth from the Arctic Circle communities will be among the young leaders to participate in this initiative. With support from IslandWood, the Sierra Club, the Children & Nature Network’s Natural Leaders program, and others, the participants will spend three weeks together this summer in addition to receiving mentorship, and internship/job opportunities beyond the summer to create a lifetime impact.

Fresh Tracks is one of several projects announced by President Obama after his influential trip to Alaska in summer 2015. According to a C&NN article written by Juan Martinez:

“Many young Los Angeles residents and Alaska Native Youth face similar challenges, including high unemployment, drug abuse, and a lack of access to healthy food and parks, and higher education. At the same time, many of us are bound by shared aspirations, a desire to know the world and to make it better.”

We look forward to hearing more about the outcomes of this exchange! Click here for more.