Fernandeño Tataviam Band of Mission Indians, which has its headquarters in the City of San Fernando, founded Pukúu Cultural Community Services 50 years ago has jointly launched Tutčint Youth Empowerment Program, a free, community-led diversion program for youth ages 12 – 17 living in San Fernando and surrounding communities.
The Tutčint Youth Empowerment Program began out of a desire to create social justice leaders by reclaiming Indigenous knowledge and focusing on a more holistic approach to well-being. Tutčint, which means “youth” in the Serrano language, support youth and their caretakers through a variety of service to support three main goals:
- Increase cultural competency by providing cultural programming
- Reduce incarceration and recidivism through case management support
- Improve academic success through tutoring services
The program acknowledges that without healing historical trauma, youth will be unable to realize their greatest potential.
The program is open to all youth struggling with social adjustment, family engagement, situational decision making, negative influence and association, academic performance and questioning identities. In addition to weekly services like academic tutoring, mentoring and workshops, the program offers regular field trips that bring youth and their families out into the community.
On Oct. 9 members of the program visited Placerita Canyon State Park where Alan Salazar, Tataviam Chumash Elder, shared about the importance of storytelling. Other places the program has visited include Descanso Gardens, Gene Autry Museum and Dodger Stadium. Transportation is provided to at-risk youth to help them connect to the land.
For more information and how to apply visit www.pukuu.org/tutcint.