Char-Koosta News

The Official Publication of the Flathead Nation online

Tribal youth get a head start in the job market

By Lailani Upham

The summer youth employment applicants take a short break before the Native games session begins. (Lailani Upham photo) The summer youth employment applicants take a short break before the Native games session begins. (Lailani Upham photo)

PABLO — The first career fair for the Summer Youth Employment Program was packed at the Salish Kootenai College Charlo/Arlee theatre this last Monday.

This year the program was opened up to all federally recognized tribal members and Confederated Salish and Kootenai descendants according to SYEP coordinator, Rachael Big Sam.

There are 107 positions available for young employees and nearly 157 applied and 130 were present at the fair, Big Sam reported.

This year goodie bags were put together for the participants from snacks to personal hygiene and extras. (Lailani Upham photo) This year goodie bags were put together for the participants from snacks to personal hygiene and extras. (Lailani Upham photo)

A minor change of venue moved the fair from the gym to the theater, providing a little more intimate setting according to SYEP staff.

The other change-up was bringing in booths for added information to the youth participants and a lunch provided by CSKT tribal member-owned business, The Cove Deli.

The all-day all-packed agenda included a dozen speakers and an opening introduction and welcome by CSKT Tribal Chairman Ron Trahan with an honor song by CSKT Social Services staff Leslie Caye.

CSKT Tribal Health Youth and Wellness Coordinator Pearl Yellowman discuss treating a suicide attempt as an emergency. She told the young crowd that if they see a Facebook status signaling a suicidal thought, each of them are in a position to help one another. “Reach out to them (friends) and treat it like you would any hospital emergency,” she said. Getting someone to his or her aid is vital she added. (Lailani Upham photo) CSKT Tribal Health Youth and Wellness Coordinator Pearl Yellowman discuss treating a suicide attempt as an emergency. She told the young crowd that if they see a Facebook status signaling a suicidal thought, each of them are in a position to help one another. “Reach out to them (friends) and treat it like you would any hospital emergency,” she said. Getting someone to his or her aid is vital she added. (Lailani Upham photo)

Topics this year were a youth listening session by Pearl Yellowman on suicide emergency; the importance of hygiene by Tribal Health dental Ellen Big Sam and Anna Burham; Native Games by Caye; Drugs on the Reservation from CSKT tribal police officer Joe Paul; CSKT payroll manager Melinda Charlo spoke on payroll; SKC Business Department Director Tina Begay on budget and finance; student success stories came from CKST tribal education department, Penny Kipp; a talk on suicide prevention from tribal social services Jason Heavyrunner; an overview on professionalism and work habits by Julia Williams from Friends Forever Mentoring and CSKT Natural Resources Terry Tanner; and the do’s and don’t of interviewing by DHRD Fatherhood Program Director Gary Acevedo.

Funding for SYEP comes from the U.S. Department of Labor.

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