Sunday, 25 February 2018

“It is so important to expose Indian youth to other cultures and territories outside their own.  Most of our youth are stuck on their own reservations; to travel from our territory to the Pacific and the Sierra Mountains was a huge growing experience for our youth.”

- O. Lyons, Onondaga Nation

A+ R A-

Councils of the Traditional Circle
of Indian Elders and Youth

The annual International Elders & Youth Councils provide a forum for consideration of issues involving and affecting indigenous peoples.  The issues are clarified and discussed, and the combined wisdom and experience of the group is utilized in seeking responses and solutions.  Responses may involve direct or indirect action by the group or by individual members.  A response may be simply the articulation of a moral position which then becomes an important tool in the hands of individual members.

The American Indian Institute is the sole source of financial and administrative support for the Traditional Circle of Elders and Youth.  The top priority of the Institute is to help facilitate the annual councils and other gatherings of the Elders Circle by disseminating information, assisting the host community with food and lodging arrangements, arranging travel for key Elders and youth, and finding funding for the events each year.

The support of the Traditioanl Circle is given freely with no strings or limitations.  It is understood that the goal is the welfare of traditional Indian people first, and the welfare of all people through the joint effort of the two partners second.  Neither side dishonors that goal.

Following many of the past annual Councils since the first in 1977, the Elders have issued a written communique on topics of concern that were discussed at the gathering.  The Communiques are listed below.  To see the German language version of the Communiques, click here.


Host Nation



August 1977

Apsáalooke (Crow)

Missouri Headwaters
(Three Forks), Montana


June 1978


Kykotsmovi, Arizona


October 1978


Phillip Deere Roundhouse
Okemah, Oklahoma


August 1979


Alberta, Canada


October 1980

Northern Cheyenne

Austin Two Moons Ranch
Busby, Montana

Communique 1 -
Warning Against Preforming
Spiritual Ceremonies for Profit

Communique 2 -
In Support of the Diné Nation to
Retain its Original Territories

August 1981


Onondaga Nation Territory
New York

Communique 3 -
Abuses And Exploitations of
the Sacred Ceremonies

Communique 4 -
Encouragement to Maya of Guatemala

August 1982

Diné (Navaho)

Dan R. Yazzie Ranch
Dove Waterflow, Arizona

Communique 5 -
Joint-Use Lands, Letter to Sidney

Communique 6 -
Joint-Use Lands, Letter to MacDonald

Communique 7 -
The Natural Law

June 1983

Santa Clara Pueblo

New Mexico

Communique 8 -
Heed The Warning

August 1983


Sapa Dawn Center
Yelm, Washington


June 1985

Northern Cheyenne

Austin Two Moons Ranch
Busby, Montana


June 1986

Oglala Sioux

South Dakota

Communique 9 -
Exploitation of Sacred Ceremonies

Communique 10 -
Apartheid in South Africa

June 1987

D-Q University

Davis, California

Communique 11 -
Elder's Statement to World Wilderness Congress

September 1988


Leg Lake Park
Los Angeles, California


September 1989


Haida Gwaii
British Columbia, Canada

Communique 12 -
Traditional Native Values

August 1990


Onondaga Nation Territory
New York

Communique 13 -
Statement from Global Forum, Moscow

October 1991

Santa Clara Pueblo

New Mexico


August 1992


Sapa Dawn Center
Yelm, Washington

Communique 14 -
A Warning To Our People

Communique 15 -
Papul Bulls of 1452 and 1493

August 1993


Turtle Mountain
North Dakota

Communique 16 -
Letter to President Clinton Re Treaties

August 1994

Apsáalooke (Crow)

(Council cancelled
due to extreme fire danger)


July 1995

Apsáalooke (Crow)

Lodge Grass, Montana


July 1996


Southwold, Ontario, Canada


May 1997


Ahwahnee, California

Communique 17 -
Concerns of the Indians of California

August 1998


Indian Island, Maine

Communique 18 -
Threats and the Need for Balance and Inclusion

Communique 19 -
Desecration of Village, Ceremonial
and Sacred Burial Sites

June 1999

Sac and Fox

Prague, Oklahoma


August 2000


Mount Pleasant, Michigan

Communique 20 -
The Ice Is Melting in the North!

February 2001


Gila River, Arizona


August 2002

All Nations in Montana

The 25th Anniversary Celebration
Flying D Bison Ranch, Montana


August 2003


Haida Gwaii
British Columbia, Canada


August 2004


Turtle Mountain
North Dakota


July 2005



Communique 21-
Let’s Make the Set!

Feburuary 2006

Independent Traditional Seminole Nation

Red Bay Stronghold Grounds


July 2007


Fort Peck, Montana


July 2008

Lake Superior Band of Chippewa

Lac du Flambeau, Wisconsin


June 2009

Diné (Navajo)

Hopi/Diné Joint-Use Lands
Big Mountain, Arizona


 July 2010

 Apsáalooke (Crow) Hits-With-The-Arrow
(Pryor Gap), Montana


 July 2011

 Onondaga Onondaga Nation Territory
New York


 August 2012

 Salish, Kootenai, Pend  d'Oreilles Flathead Indian Nation


 July 2013

 Yokut, Western Mono,  Tubatulabal Tule River Reservation


August 2014

Kaniekehaka Mohawk

Akwesasne Mohawk Nation
New York


August 2015


Ho-Chunk Territory


August 2016

Nooksack Nation

Nooksack Nation Territory,


July 2017

Salish, Kootenai, Pend d'Oreilles

The 40th Anniversary Celebration
Flathead Indian Nation, Montana