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Mountain Chief Institute


Native American youth face many challenges as they grow into adults.  A suicide rate two and a half times the national average, substance abuse, physical and emotional abuse, and high school dropout rates twice the national average plague reservations across the country. Mountain Chief Institute would like to help change these statistics.  We have developed Spirit of Hoops basketball training camps for Native American boys and girls 6-17 years of age and all athletic skill levels.  Our program is dedicated to improving self-esteem and emphasizes team participation and a sense of importance and belonging.  


Basketball is one of the most popular sports on every American Indian Reservation in the United States today.  Mountain Chief Institute uses basketball as a vehicle to impact a youth culture where Native children will grow up believing that they are valued, important to their community and have the attitudes, skills, self-discipline and resources to succeed in whatever they choose to pursue.  These qualities can be taught through a positive athletic culture.  

President's Video

© 2014 Moutain Chief Institute


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 Spirit of Hoops has had a successful program.  In 2014 we completed 8 Basketball camps on 5 Reservations with 660 native youth.  In 2015 we completed 14 basketball camps on 8 Reservations with 995 native youth. In 2016 we completed 19 basketball camps and two, during and after school basketball programs on 14 reservations with 1,540 native youth.  In these 3 years, we conducted 42 basketball training camps and events on 19 different American Indian Reservations and Urban Communities in 7 states (Wisconsin, South Dakota, Southern California, Utah, Colorado, Arizona and New Mexico).  A total of 3,195 Native American boys and girls ages 5 to 18 of varying skill levels participated.  We worked with each Tribe and community and also trained local native and nonnative Reservation coaches and volunteers to work with us. 


Our staff includes 2 native head coaches and 5 native assistant coaches.  We charge no fees for attending the basketball camps.  We videotaped the basketball action in the camps and also videotaped interviews of parents, coaches and children with their reactions and comments about the Camps.  See our Basketball Camp videos and pictures on our website and our Facebook page



Additional camps will be conducted in various locations and Urban setting throughout 2017.


David Powless (Oneida Tribe)

President – Mountain Chief Institute 

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