The mission of the Native Youth Community Adaptation and Leadership Congress (NYCALC) is to develop future conservation leaders with the skills, knowledge, and tools to address environmental change and conservation challenges to better serve their schools and home communities.
Provide a unique, meaningful, and inclusive experience in a safe learning environment for all participants
Provide training for Native youth, Jr. Faculty, community mentors, and conservation professionals (conservation, S.T.E.M., leadership, outdoor skills)
Increase awareness of environmental issues
Motivate and inspire ownership and empowerment related to the future well-being of their tribe and community
Cultivate and nurture emerging youth leaders
Learn from each other and their respective cultures
Empower communities to implement or continue existing programs via mini-grant opportunities
Make personal and professional lifetime connections
Broaden the awareness of the roles and responsibilities of conservation agencies and organizations
Improve federal employee and Native leadership cultural competencies and relationships through training
Learning tools to address environmental change and conservation challenges
The Native Youth Community Adaptation and Leadership Congress (NYCALC) is held in July at the National Conservation Training Center (NCTC) in Shepherdstown, West Virginia. The Congress includes a diverse mix of urban and rural students from tribal communities located throughout the continental US, Alaska, Hawaii and American Samoa. In 2018, The Congress was attended by 81 high school students representing over 30 indigenous tribes and communities, with 24 mentors, 15 agency-nominated college students who participated as Junior Faculty, and employees representing over ten federal agencies and partners who participated as Faculty.