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A 12-member steering committee has been formed to organize efforts to secure a chapter of the Boys & Girls Club of America on the Ute Indian Reservation.

The club would target those ages 6 to 20 years by providing programs and incentives to help them improve their lives.Ken Blackbird, who serves as committee chairman, is a Bureau of Indian Affairs police officer who knows firsthand how the Boys and Girls Club help American Indian youth. He's gathered professionals and representatives from varied working backgrounds to determine what programs available through the club would best serve children and young adults on the reservation.

"We want this to be an outreach to youth saying we care about you and you have to care for yourself to care about others," he stated.

The 25 programs sanctioned by the Boys and Girls Club of America will offer youth a variety of enriching experiences and nourish and develop leadership skills.

Representatives from the Boys and Girls Club of American have already agreed to conduct a youth survey on the reservation to determine which type of programs would be most beneficial to American Indians. Blackbird said legal assistance will be sought from the Ute Tribe to gain incorporation for the group.