Navajo-Hopi Nations,Flagstaff & Winslow News
Wed, Oct. 27

Canyonlands Institute offers Native Teen Guide in Training program

The Native Teen Guide in Training program offers Native youth the opportunity to learn new skills during an eight day river trip. (Photo/Canyon Field Institute)

The Native Teen Guide in Training program offers Native youth the opportunity to learn new skills during an eight day river trip. (Photo/Canyon Field Institute)

FLAGSTAFF, Ariz. — Canyonlands Field Institute is now accepting applications for its annual Native Teen Guide in Training (NTGIT) Program. The program takes place on the iconic San Juan River in Southern Utah and is open to Indigenous youth entering eighth grade through twelfth grade in fall 2021.

The program takes place from June 17-24.

For eight days, teens will explore the San Juan River corridor as it flows alongside the Navajo Nation and learn communication, teamwork, technical and naturalist skills. The education staff is a combination of Canyonlands Field Institute (CFI) guides and Indigenous educators coming together to provide a fun, meaningful experience for those wishing to explore a key Utah waterway.


Teen guides in training take a break on the banks of the San Juan River. (Photos/Canyon Field Institute)

No camping or river gear is necessary. Because of community support, the eight day program costs $50 per participant. CFI also has tents, sleeping bags, sleeping pads and other gear items available to borrow at no additional cost.

“This is a great chance to develop professional skills and add something unique to a resume,” organizers stated.

Past NTGIT participants have returned to CFI for other guiding opportunities, or used their foundational skills from this program to work in the outdoor recreation industry. They have also listed their CFI guides and mentors as references for job applications.

This program is for youth who are looking to learn more about rivers, connect with peers from all over the country, or simply wish to experience something new.

“My favorite lesson was when I got to row the boat and the guide was showing me how,” said one youth participant.

The students who participate in the Native Teen Guide in Training program come away with the knowledge, skills and desire to share the richness and beauty of the river with others. Program chaperones said the trip is a unique experience for them as well.

“As a chaperone it helped me to reconnect with the land and the environment, thus providing me a sense of balance. For the students there has been so much personal growth. The experience brought out in them knowledge and talents they didn’t openly share with their peers and adults around them,” said one past program chaperone.

The program is organized to help youth build confidence, develop marketable skills and practice teambuilding and communication while working as a group to navigate whitewater, set up camp, cook meals, while exploring the San Juan River.

More information is available at

Information provided by Canyonlands Field Institute

Donate Report a Typo Contact